Cassandra Peterson, the actress and performer best known to the world as the horror host Elvira, has officially come out. Peterson broke the news in her latest memoir, Yours Cruelly, Elvira, which was released wherever books are sold on Tuesday. As Peterson revealed, she has been in a 19-year romantic relationship with another woman, Teresa "T" Wierson. Peterson was previously married to musician-turned-manager Mark Pierson from 1981 to 2003, and the couple have one daughter, Sadie Pierson. As Peterson recounts in her memoir, she first met Wierson at the Hollywood Gold's Gym after initially mistaking her for a man, and the pair's friendship turned romantic following her divorce from Pierson.
"Often, when I was doing my preworkout warm-up on the treadmill, I couldn't help noticing one particular trainer - tan, tattooed, and muscular - stalking across the gym floor, knit cap pulled so low over his long brown hair that it nearly covered his eyes," Peterson wrote. "Dark and brooding, he gave off such intense energy that when he crossed the enormous gym floor, the waters parted and people stopped in their tracks to stare."
"There on the doorstep stood my trainer, T, holding a trash bag full of her belongings, looking sad and bedraggled, Peterson explained. "She'd split from her longtime partner, spent some time in rehab, and now had no place to go."
After Peterson and Wierson lived together, romantic feelings began to develop, culminating in Peterson wanting to kiss Wierson after they were out at a movie.
"I think I was even more surprised," Peterson revealed. "What the hell was I doing? I'd never been interested in women as anything other than friends. I felt so confused. This just wasn't me! I was stunned that I'd been friends with her for so many years and never noticed our chemistry. I soon discovered that we connected sexually in a way I'd never experienced."
Peterson and Wierson have now been together since 2003, but have largely kept their relationship secret, with Wierson assuming the role of Peterson's assistant.
"Would my fans hate me for not being what they expected me to be?" Peterson wondered. "I'm very aware that there will be some who will be disappointed and maybe even angry, but I have to live with myself, and at this point in my life, I've got to be truthful about who I am."
"For the first time in my life," Peterson continued. "I'm with someone who makes me feel safe, blessed, and truly loved."
Yours Cruelly, Elvira is currently available wherever books are sold.