The rock 'n' roll icon went from hero to zero in 1958 when the British media exposed his marriage to his 13-year-old cousin Myra during his first tour of the U.K. as he soared to international fame.

For years afterwards, Lee Lewis was shoved to the periphery of the music industry before an unexpected career resurgence in the late 1960s, but he is adamant he was wrongly hounded over the scandal because marrying so young was normal in the Deep South where he grew up.

He also hits out at his old foe Presley, insisting the King should have received equal criticism for his relationship with Priscilla Beaulieu, who met the rock legend when she was just 14 and who gave birth to their daughter Lisa Marie exactly nine months after they married when she was 21.

Lee Lewis tells Britain's The Guardian, "I never done anything I'm ashamed of. I wasn't the kind of guy who'd take a girl and put her up on a hill, and live with her for eight years, and then just marry her when I got her pregnant... That was a fact. I'm not mentioning any names... I wouldn't be talkin' about Elvis Presley unless I was talking about Elvis Presley... Sure he did it. It's well known."