Actress Cassandra ‘Elvira’ Peterson reveals 19-year relationship with woman

The Mistress of the Dark is shining a light on her longtime relationship with a woman.

Cassandra Peterson, the actress best known for playing Elvira, revealed in her new autobiography that she has been in a relationship with Teresa Wierson for 19 years, Entertainment Tonight reported.

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In “Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark,” which was released Tuesday, the 70-year-old pop culture icon reveals that she fell in love with “T” -- a trainer who later became her assistant and close friend -- after divorcing her manager, Mark Pierson, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“I’m happy and relieved to finally allow our secret to see the light of day,” Peterson writes of her relationship with Wierson, according to Entertainment Weekly.

When she met Wierson, Peterson said at first she did not realize that the trainer was a woman.

“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,” Peterson wrote in her memoir. “A typical sexy bad boy, he was unaware he was so charismatic that he’d garnered his own unofficial fan club. Watching him from the safety of my treadmill made my heart beat faster and the time pass much more quickly. I mean, c’mon, I was married, not dead.”

When Peterson later ran into Wierson in a women’s restroom, she realized that the trainer was a woman, Entertainment Tonight reported. Their platonic relationship turned romantic after Peterson split with her husband and Wierson ended her own relationship, and Wierson moved in with Peterson and her son, the website reported.

Peterson worried that fans of her campy alter-ego might alienate some fans, who viewed Elvira as a sex symbol for men, the Times reported.

“I worried that if I announced I was no longer living the ‘straight life,’ my fans would feel lied to, call me a hypocrite, and abandon me,” Peterson writes in her book.

However, Peterson decided the time was right to go public with her relationship.

“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,” she wrote. “For the first time in my life I’m with someone who makes me feel safe, blessed, and truly loved.”