"I knew him as a husband, friend and fierce philanthropist," Testolini tells ET
Testolini, who was married to the star from 2001 to 2006, told Entertainment Tonight that she already had plans to build the school before his passing and is “heartbroken beyond words” over the news of his death.
In fact, the business woman and philanthropist, 39, had recently contacted the singer to tell him about her plans for the school.
“I just reached out to [Prince] a few days ago to let him know that I was building a school in his honor,” she continued. “My heart aches that the school will now be built in his memory.
“Prince and I had a magical journey together and I loved him immensely,” she said. “I knew him as a husband, friend and fierce philanthropist. Philanthropy brought us together and it was Prince that encouraged me to start my own charity over 10 years ago.”
Testolini’s foundation is called In a Perfect World and supports an educational program known as REACH (Rural Education and Community Harmony), which has built 19 schools in some of the world’s poorest countries, including Mali, Malawi, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Haiti, Nicaragua and Nepal.
Testolini does not yet know where the school in Prince’s honor will be built and says she was previously hoping he would decide that.
The 57-year-old Prince died Thursday at his Paisley Park compound in Chanhassen, Minnesota.