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We Would Have Stayed Together If Our Son Hadn’t Died, Prince’s Ex-Wife Says

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What a touching story.  Profound pain.  

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Guest Nicole

In a new memoir, Prince’s ex-wife Mayte Garcia shares the story of their four-year marriage and the tragedy that tore them apart. Subscribe now for the exclusive excerpt – only in PEOPLE.

The death of Prince and his ex-wife Mayte Garcia’s newborn son in 1996 not only devastated the couple, but ultimately doomed their marriage, his former spouse and one-time muse tells PEOPLE.

“I don’t think he ever got over it,” Garcia says in an exclusive interview and excerpt from her new memoir The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince that appears in this week’s PEOPLE. “I know I haven’t.”

Prince and Garcia were ecstatic when they learned they were going to be parents not long after their marriage on Valentine’s Day in 1996. They named the child Amiir — Arabic for “prince” — while he was still in Mayte’s womb, and they excitedly listened to his heartbeat in the months before his birth.

But the baby, born Oct. 16, 1996, with the rare genetic disorder Pfeiffer syndrome type 2, lived just six days.

The emotional impact, compounded by a miscarriage Garcia had two years later, sent the couple into an emotional tailspin that, she says, ultimately derailed their marriage.

They divorced in 2000.

Asked if she believes their relationship would have survived if they hadn’t lost their son, Garcia grows quiet, then softly replies, “Yes.”

Fighting back tears, she continues: “I meet a lot of people and I’ve learned that not many couples make it after the loss of a child. And then when you have another one, that was really hard on us.”

Prince retreated into the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses faith. “At the time it was giving him the answers that he liked,” Garcia recalls. “Looking back, I probably would have done things differently now. But back then I just wanted to forget the pain.”

The loss of his newborn son was so profound for Prince that years after their divorce Garcia learned that her ex-husband asked his assistant to burn everything in Paisley Park that reminded him of Garcia and their son, including Amiir’s ashes.

“In some sad, painful moment, he had it all burned, as if fire could cauterize this deep wound he couldn’t close,” Garcia writes in her memoir, due out April 4. “I wasn’t there to witness it, and I can’t bear to think about it now.”

Garcia was driving near her LA home when her cell phone rang on April 21, 2016, and she learned the terrible news that Prince had died from what was later determined to be an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl.

After she got over the initial shock, her first reaction was bittersweet. “He’s with our son now,” she recalls thinking at the time. “I know they’re finally together.”


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Guest Nicole

'He would borrow my makeup, mascara, perfume and clothes' Prince's first wife Mayte Garcia on life with the flamboyant singer

As the first anniversary of his death approaches, Mayte Garcia recalled the crazy times they had together and the tragic loss that tore them apart.

Prince’s first wife has finally opened up about her life with the flamboyant singer.

As the first anniversary of the pop legend’s death on April 21 approaches, Mayte Garcia recalled the crazy times they had together and the tragic loss that tore them apart.

She laughed as she revealed how her husband would borrow her 
make-up, mascara and even clothes.

Mayte said: “He wore my make-up, he wore my perfumes. If I bought a new one, it would be gone.”

The 43-year-old, who at 5ft 4in was two inches taller than the star, added: “Even my trousers. He would take them and get them cut so that he could wear them.”

The dancer met the Purple Rain megastar when she was 16 and he was 32.

She became his backing dancer, long-time muse and mother of his only child. They married in 1996 but split a few years later.

Mayte said the year since Prince’s death has been an “awakening”.

She explained: “It’s made me more 
compassionate and more aware of my surroundings.”

It also led to her 
decision to write The Most Beautiful: My Life With Prince, her new book in which she reveals for the first time what it was like being married to one of the most famous and enigmatic music stars of the last century,

Today, Mayte lives in a modest home in the Los Angeles suburb Woodland Hills with her adopted daughter Gia, five. She teaches belly dancing and helps out at the small dog rescue charity she founded.

It’s a far cry from Paisley Park, Prince’s vast recording complex and home outside Minneapolis, where they lived during their marriage.

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