In a new memoir Prince’s ex-wife Mayte Garcia shares the story of their four-year marriage and the tragedy that tore them apart. Subscribe now for the exclusive excerpt – only in PEOPLE!
Garcia details the progression of her relationship with Prince – who died in April 2016 – in her upcoming memoir, The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince, which appears in this week’s issue of PEOPLE.
As a successful teenage belly dancer in 1990, Garcia delivered a tape of her performing to the singer at one of his concerts in Germany. The star ultimately invited Garcia backstage, telling her, “I like your tape.”[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/312791122" params="visual=true&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
For much more on Mayte Garcia and the new Prince book, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
Prince said, writes Garcia, “Are you really 16?” After confirming her age, Prince asked for Garcia’s number. “The encounter lasted forty seconds but it felt like we’d stepped outside of time,” she says.
Later that evening, Garcia says Prince invited her to his hotel room, where they watched more tapes of her performances. The singer, then 32, then began a phone and mail correspondence with the teen.
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“We did not have a sexual relationship,” writes Garcia, now 43. “He never denied that the occasional impure thought crossed his mind, but he was too wise and decent to take advantage of a 16-year-old girl.”
Soon after her graduation from high school, Garcia began to work as one of Prince’s backup dancers, and he subsequently became her legal guardian. At 18, she moved into Paisley Park full time. Despite Prince dating other women, Garcia writes that they would stay in his room until dawn, just talking.
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A year later, when Garcia was 19, Prince declared, “I think it’s time,” directing her to get birth control.
“A week or so later, I wrote in bold in my journal: Feb. 9, 1993 — not a virgin,” she says in the book. “And I drew a winking smiley face. Patience pays off.”
The couple wed on Valentine’s Day 1996, before ultimately splitting in 2000.