Prince’s first wife, Mayte Garcia, appeared on the ITV daytime show This Morning on Wednesday to discuss her life with the global icon and the launch of her book, The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince, two weeks shy of the first anniversary of his death of a drug overdose.
Mayte, who was married to Prince for four years, met him at just 16 years old, and by seventeen was already travelling on tour with him. The interview with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby was often painful to watch with Mayte often defending Prince who was accused of being “controlling” and stifling a young Mayte.
Although her sister was the “real Prince fan”, even before meeting the Purple One, Mayte told her mum that she was going to end up marrying Prince.
Confirming that she was only 16 when she first met Prince face to face backstage at one of his concerts, she was keen to stress that she wasn’t a ‘regular’ 16-year old as she was mature for her age. “I was already a professional dancer by then. I was working for corporate events and I’d had a lot of opportunities from a very young age.”
Their relationship soon progressed after the initial meeting and when the moment came for Prince to go on the road again, he wanted Mayte with him but legally she was too young to accompany him. At this point her dad made Prince a legal guardian of her so that she could travel with him. Phillip was incredulous that her father agreed to it.
Mayte quickly explained:
“Yes he did. My father saw the back and forth nature between Prince and myself. I would send video tapes of my dancing and he would send me music. And I kept going on these trips to visit him [Prince] and he just knew. And so when Prince asked him if I could come to Los Angeles and that there was a possibility that I could work… Instead of having to deal with all the paperwork, cause back then there was no email, and everything took two or three days.”
The judging hung in the air and Mayte attempted to explain further: “Well, I wasn’t a crazy kid. I never hung out after school. I never had sleep overs. I was a trained ballerina and I would study right after school. Every weekend I was with my father so he knew that I didn’t have that kind of [gestures wildly with her hands] energy. It was a trusting, respectful environment.”
The interview also touched on how Prince appeared to be a domineering figure in her life, and even criticised her for putting on some weight at one point and docked her wages!
Mayte, confirmed this and said: “He was infamous for that.”
Holly suggested that the book painted Prince as controlling even her clothing. Mayte replied: “He wasn’t asking me to have orange hair or anything crazy. It was all about adding to his vision on what he was creating at the time. So it didn’t feel controlling. I mean as a boyfriend, it was never like that. For work, it was what it was. I mean anybody that has to work, will understand that you have to look a certain way to keep their job. It was fun.”
Despite his image as the ultimate ladies’ man, Prince did kind of let the side down when it came to proposing to Mayte. “He did it over the phone!” But she says he made up for that by being romantic later on.
Although at the time of his death Prince had remarried and moved on, Mayte said she was still quite attached to him and was shocked at his death.
“I knew Prince was older but I didn’t think it was going to happen so soon. I though maybe in his eighties. His dad lived to his eighties and he was a little spitfire. I thought it was going to be the same with Prince.”