Prince’s Ex-Wife Reveals How the Devastating Loss of Their Son Led To The End of Their Marriage
Prince, the iconic musician who died in April of 2016, was married twice. Very little has been known about the artist’s marriages, and that’s the way Prince liked it. Even when he would sit across from an interviewer such as Oprah Winfrey for a conversation, Prince would divulge maddeningly little.
His first wife, Mayte Garcia, published a memoir a year after the singer’s death that revealed a bit more about the pair’s marriage, and most painfully, the loss of their only child.
Find out about their crushing experience, as well as about their union and ultimate break-up.
Prince’s marriage to Mayte Garcia
Prince married Mayte Garcia in 1996. She was 22 and he was 37. Garcia was bellydancing regularly for parties and events, earning a lucrative salary from as young as 15 years of age, according to her memoir, The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince. Thanks to her persistent mom, Prince eventually received a videocassette of Garcia bellydancing. He liked what he saw and asked to meet her.
Garcia became part of Prince’s tour quickly, so much so that her parents at some point signed over guardianship of their daughter to the Purple Rain star. She and Prince gradually fell in love – she states in her memoir that the songwriter was her first boyfriend – and married.
“This was my first real boyfriend,” Garcia said in her book, “so I was tripping on all the emotional ecstasy most girls get our of their system in high school. Prince loved that I was so in love with being in love. I’d never had my heart broken, so I was open and unjaded. Any old trick in the romance handbook – a candlelit bubble bath, rose petals on the sheets, a sexy handwritten letter – none of the novelty had worn off for me.”
The birth of their son
Garcia became pregnant with their first child almost immediately after their wedding. The baby was due in November of 1996 but arrived a month earlier. Both the singer and Garcia were eager to meet their child. The day of his birth began with joy and ended with intense disappointment and heartache. She unflinchingly described in her memoir the moment their child, Amiir, was born, after the doctor announced their baby was a boy.
“I don’t know how to describe the look on my husband’s face. Pure joy. Pure love. Pure gratitude. I’d seen his face as he scored platinum albums and received the highest awards in his industry. . . None of that compared to the look I saw on his face in this moment, when he became a father.”
“And then they held the baby up in the glare of those harsh lights. . . The pure elation on my husband’s face turned to pure terror.”
The couple’s baby was born with Pfeiffer syndrome type 2, causing fusing of bones in the skull, resulting in the eyes being located outside the sockets. Hands and feet have a webbed appearance, and colon abnormalities result in the absence of an anus.
“There was only an instant of fear. In the next instant, we became parents. Our love for him embraced everything he was.”
Despite countless surgeries, intubations, feeding tubes, colostomies, having the baby’s eyes sewn shut, Amiir died after six days of life.
The end of their marriage
The trauma the couple endured was something even the strongest of marriages don’t survive. Prince and Garcia eventually ended their marriage. He had taken up with another young woman who looked remarkably like Garcia.
The dancer told The Current in a 2019 interview, “Unfortunately when couples lose, women and men deal with it in a different way. It’s hard. We never had problems before that. You start to question yourself and the other person. Communication is so important.”
In her memoir, Garcia revealed, “I felt an era ending, and I knew our marriage was ending with it. He’d humiliated me . . . He made me feel banished . . . It was as if he expected me to simply disappear, and in a way, I did. I felt myself slipping down the drain and didn’t have the will to fight it anymore.”
The couple divorced in 2000 and by 2001, Prince had married again. That marriage ended in 2006 and until his death in 2016, the superstar did not marry again.