Prince’s ex-wife recalls the joys and heartbreaks of life with the late superstar.
When Garcia met Prince, she was a 16-year-old military brat living with her family in Germany and making a healthy living as popular belly dancer. With the encouragement of her hard-charging mother, she got a videotape of her moves into Prince’s hands, launching a friendship that, once she was of age, blossomed into a romance. Garcia recalls her early enchantment with the funk-pop-rock virtuoso, from his hotel rooms dolled up by a “foo foo master” assigned to make them homier to his conversational charm to his scent (“like the most expensive shelf in the Sephora perfume aisle”) to notes revealing his vulnerable side (“U’re so pretty. It cheers me up if someone tries 2 ruin my day. Many do”). Prince became her employer (she danced on his tours in the 1990s), first lover, and, in 1996, husband. Garcia’s memoir is mostly a warmhearted remembrance of life with Prince, but she also recalls chafing at life in the gilded cage of Paisley Park and, late in their brief marriage (they divorced in 2000), his alienating obsession with Jehovah’s Witness doctrine. The deepest wound, however, was the 1996 death of their week-old infant son, who was born severely deformed; a later miscarriage all but ended their relationship: “If fighting was an ‘exercise,’ the last year of our marriage was a spin class from hell.” Prince could be callous, she recalls: he put her to work less than a month after their son died, was unfaithful, and left her saddled with an expensive property after the divorce. But little bitterness fills these pages. Garcia closes with assertions that she’s moved on (Hollywood Exes, an adopted daughter, an animal rescue) and expressions of regret that Prince’s life was cut short.
A genial, candid portrait of Prince’s ill-fated turn as a family man.