In a new memoir, the first wife of the late music icon Prince confirmed details about the death of their infant son, and says that while she never saw Prince take drugs, several incidents in retrospect have struck her as suspicious.
“I don’t think he ever got over it,” dancer-actress Mayte Garcia, 43, told People magazine about the death of their son, Amiir, whose name — Arabic for “prince” — was previously unrevealed. “I don’t know how anybody can get over it. I know I haven’t.”
The child’s death certificate had indicated only that a “Boy Gregory” was born Oct. 16, 1996, to a “Mia Gregory” and died Oct. 23, 1996, of Pfeiffer syndrome type 2, a rare defect in which a baby’s skull bones fuse prematurely. A birth certificate issued a month later identified the mother as Mayte Garcia-Nelson, and listed no father, per newspaper accounts at the time.
In People’s excerpts from “The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince,” Garcia writes that her husband was ecstatic at learning she was pregnant. But when a doctor recommended an amniocentesis to check for genetic disorders after Garcia began bleeding, “My husband said, ‘No, we’re not doing that.’ ” Garcia did not specify whether he had a religious objection or was concerned about the risk of miscarriage.
When the child was born, Garcia writes, “[They] held the baby up to those harsh lights. The elation on my husband’s face turned to pure terror. . . . They brought the baby over to us. He was curled on his side, gasping shallow little gulps of air. Because there were no lids to blink, his eyes looked startled and dry. I caught hold of his tiny hand, saying over and over, ‘Mama loves you, Mama’s here.’ ”
Garcia, who married Prince on Valentine’s Day 1996 and was divorced in 2000, also told People, “I never actually saw Prince doing drugs. He didn’t want me to. I’m sure he knew what my reaction would be.” The star died April 21 at age 57 from an accidental painkiller overdose.
In her book, Garcia recalls “disturbing occasions when he told me he was ‘sick’ or had a ‘migraine.’ ” She told People that, “Looking back now and being much older, I can see it was something else.”