Mayte Garcia’s memoir, The Most Beautiful: My Life With Prince, pulls back the curtain on their relationship, which was pretty heartbreaking.
Just 16 when they met, Mayte went on six years later, on Valentine’s Day in 1996, to marry Prince, who died last April from an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl. In October of that year, she gave birth to their only child, a son named Amiir, who died six days after birth from a rare genetic disorder known as Pfeiffer syndrome Type 2. In a excerpt from the book published in People magazine, Mayte recounted how — shortly after the baby died — her famous husband dragged her out of bed to be interviewed with him, at their Paisley Park home, by Oprah Winfrey.
“’Oprah’s coming to Paisley. Today,’” Garcia, the woman who inspired “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” recalled Prince telling her shortly after Amiir’s death. Although she begged him to tell the talk show host that she was ill, he said, “’I need you to do this.’ … He had me on my feet, but I was sobbing. People came. A mask of heavy makeup was applied to my face.”
At the time, there were rumors about their baby in the tabloids, and Prince hadn’t confirmed anything, even after Amiir passed away. Garcia, an actress and dancer, wrote, “My husband took Oprah on a tour of Paisley Park, and her mission was clear. She’d come to find out if the child was dead or deformed, like people were saying.”
Watching the interview, which aired Nov. 21, 1996 (a month after their child died), is an unsettling experience. The singer, who was possibly in a state of shock, wouldn’t address the death of the child, instead he told Oprah upon her arrival that things “couldn’t be better.”
Even more disturbing, he went on to give Oprah a tour of his “favorite room” in the Minnesota compound: a nursery and playroom.
Garcia writes in the book that she “didn’t know anything about” the room, which her husband had set up while she was in the hospital, because “he wanted to surprise me.” Needless to say, she questioned why he took Oprah to see it.
“Oprah saw it before I did,” she wrote in her book. “I have to wonder why he took her in there. They stood in the middle of this colorful paradise of toys. It had everything a perfect nursery needs, except for the only thing a perfect nursery needs.”
Garcia also wrote that during the interview, “I sat on the sofa, smiling a pretty ballerina smile. I’d been instructed by my husband, ‘Say nothing about Amiir.’”
However, in the interview with Oprah, Garcia did bring up her pregnancy. Asked about some of the romantic things Prince had done for her, she mentioned the songs he had written, including, “Let’s Have a Baby.” She offered, “Because of that, I got pregnant.”
Then Oprah asks them to set the record straight about the baby rumors, another moment that’s hard to watch now. Mayte stared at Prince (and away from the camera, as if to fight off tears) as he replied, “Our family exists. We’re just beginning it. We got many kids to have. A long way to go.”