Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, has publicly come out in her new memoir, Yours Cruelly, Elvira.

American actress Cassandra Peterson has revealed she has been in a relationship with her partner, Teresa “T” Wierson, for 19 years.

The horror icon opened up about befriending the trainer at Hollywood Gold’s Gym which developed into a longtime romance, as documented in her memoir.

“Often, when I was doing my pre-workout 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 writes in Yours Cruelly.

“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.” The twist in this narrative is that the “he” turned out to be a “she” as Peterson mistook Wierson for a man.

Peterson was previously married to actor Mark Pierson for 25-years from 1981 to 2003 before their split. The couple has a daughter, Sadie Pierson, together.

After their interaction, Wierson showed up at Peterson’s door following a break-up where the horror star revealed she began to develop feelings for her friend.

“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,” the memoir explains.

Peterson’s memoir, Yours Cruelly, Elvira, conveys the actress’ confusion regarding her feelings towards her new friend. In the end, the pair ended up romantically involved but kept their romance a secret for nearly two decades.

“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 been together since 2003 but chose to keep their relationship secret. Wierson assuming the role of Peterson’s assistant to maintain their privacy.

The 70-year-old addresses the mystique of her relationship: “Would my fans hate me for not being what they expected me to be? 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.”

With the news out, the actress shares her happiness with her new partner: “For the first time in my life,” she writes, “I’m with someone who makes me feel safe, blessed, and truly loved.”