I just finished the book I was most excited to read this year. Being that I’m from Minnesota, I felt a strong connection to Prince and was greatly impacted by his passing last year. So, I was pretty intrigued when his ex-wife Mayte wrote a book about their relationship and life together. Some felt she shouldn’t have written this book and expose his secret life, but she did it in a very tasteful way and you can feel the love it was written with in each word.
The book starts with Mayte describing the moment she learned he had passed away. She speaks of her desire to get herself to Minnesota as soon as she could and how she was able to be a part of the many tributes and memorials that would follow. Then she starts reflecting on how they even came to know each other in the first place. She was a great deal younger than him and grew up in a military family that spent a large amount of time overseas. Her mother encouraged her to learn belly dancing and soon she had a career. Prince had a tour through Germany and her mother was bound and determined to get a video of Mayte dancing to him. Somehow the stars aligned and they were successful in getting him the video. Almost immediately, Prince reached out to them. He wanted to get to know Mayte.
They started out as very innocent friends. He was very respectful of her underage status and it was almost a brother/sister or even mentor-ship type of friendship at the start. They kept very close contact even when they weren’t on the same continent and when Mayte was finally old enough, he brought her on as part of the New Power Generation. As they worked close together their friendship eventually morphed into love. Then they were married. And then came the tragedy.
About two months after their wedding, Mayte became pregnant. The pregnancy was a bit rocky and she nearly lost the baby at seven months. They put her on bed rest and got her almost to term but had to do an emergency c-section 24 hours before they had one actually scheduled. Sadly their child, a boy named Amiir, was born with multiple birth defects and would die within a week.
As much as Prince and Mayte tried to recover from this tragic event, it would set the tone for the remainder of their marriage and things went down hill quickly. They would become pregnant again, but that pregnancy ended in miscarriage. By 1998, only two years after they married on Valentine’s Day, they separated. By 2000 they had officially filed for divorce.
Though they did not stay much in contact after this point, they crossed paths a few times. Mayte ended up striking up a relationship with Prince’s next wife – who would also become an ex-wife – Manuela. Manuela was the one who called Mayte to inform her of Prince’s death.
Mayte eventually adopted a daughter and has managed a pretty decent life away from Prince, but says she regrets nothing of their history and time together. She wrote the book to process her grief at his passing and to have a way to remember the good times as well as the bad. Throughout the book she mentions times that she realized he maybe was having some problems with drugs, but never truly thought anything of it until now. They were all very isolated, single incidents.
I truly enjoyed this book and learning more about their story together. Prince was a very private person, so many of these things about his life were not known at the time. I think Mayte did a great job of sharing details without overexposing too much. I think he was a very complex person and I imagine it wasn’t always easy loving him. But you can see that she truly did. And even if it’s ending is sad, it’s a very beautiful story. If you’re even a casual Prince fan I highly recommend this one.