(10 Apr 2017) NO 'TELL-ALL,' BUT PRINCE'S EX DETAILS THEIR LIFE IN NEW MEMOIR
Love, grief, loss and legacy are just a few of the reasons Mayte Garcia is stepping back into the purple light with a new memoir covering her 11 years with the late music icon Prince.
Garcia was just 16, a fan and already a professional belly dancer, when her mother slipped one of Prince's entourage a videotape of her daughter dancing. They were at one of his concerts and Prince watched right away, summoning her backstage.
Letters and phone calls followed as a friendship blossomed, regardless of their 15-year age difference. At nearly 18, she became part of his working life; by 19, she was his lover.
They married when she was 22. She was pregnant two months later, but they lost their baby boy to a rare genetic disorder six days after birth. Their grief over the passing of their precious Amiir, which means Prince in Arabic, would contribute to their divorce in 2000, Garcia said while promoting the recently released book "The Most Beautiful Girl: My Life with Prince."
Garcia â€” the subject of Prince's hit "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" â€” hadn't seen him for many years when he died April 21, 2016. The 43-year-old regrets that she didn't get in touch earlier that year when she learned through old friends that he wasn't doing well.
Garcia says she never saw Prince take drugs. A medical examiner has ruled his death was due to an accidental opioid overdose.
What she does know is this: He was once rushed to the hospital to have his stomach pumped after passing out, saying that he mixed wine and aspirin for a migraine.
"He told me he had a migraine. He had a migraine and he drank too much. I just didn't think anything of it. I was like, 'Oh, OK.'
There was a time he asked her to flush some pills down a toilet after falling ill before a concert.
"I know that the loss of our son was really hard on him and I think that that's what I thought. I remember thinking, 'Wow, he's really affected by it. I really need to be there for him.' I just went into that, trying to be there for him instead of, what is this and why are you doing that and where did you get it from? Now that I'm older, I probably would have done that, but it just was a very sensitive time."
Garcia says she actually started writing her book years ago.
"It was never like a tell-all or to talk bad about my relationship and my past. Actually it was done for love, and then when he passed, then I really felt the urgency to do it because I know a lot of people are going to come out with books and stories, but none like mine."
Prince was intensely private; he shied away from the spotlight, did few interviews and cultivated a mysterious image. But Garcia said he didn't try and stop her from writing a memoir.
"He was aware that I was writing a book. He never said anything," she said.
She learned the news of Prince's shocking end from an unlikely source: Manuela Testolini, Prince's second wife who he also divorced. Testolini was involved in his charitable foundation and a Jehovah's Witnesses study group he attended while he and Garcia were still married.
Years later, Testolini and Garcia struck up a friendship, of sorts, that endures.
Garcia was driving in Los Angeles, where she lives with her 5-year-old daughter, when Testolini texted for her to call, and told her of Prince's death.
"I don't know how many no's I said, I don't remember. I can't count," she said.
The question of whether Prince had a will has slowed settlement of his estate for a year. None has been found. All Garcia knows is at one point he had one.
"Absolutely. I mean I don't know if it exists anymore because people were very respectful of him. He could have said, 'Destroy that,'" she noted.
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