Musical legend Prince and his ex-wife Mayte Garcia lost a son back in 1996. Now, Garcia is speaking out about her 1996 Oprah interview, where she was urged not to discuss his death.
The interview with Oprah took place not long after the infant’s death. In a new memoir, Garcia says Prince persuaded her to keep quiet about his death during the interview.
Prince’s wife at the time recalls that she was still devastated about losing Amiir. Their newborn baby had been born with Pfeiffer syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. Baby Amiir died at just six days old.
Oprah Winfrey was coming to the couple’s Minnesota home, the legendary singer told Mayte Garcia. She was to interview the couple during the fall of 1996.
Garcia says she was up and about, but couldn’t really control her sobbing. In an excerpt from her memoirs published by People magazine on Thursday, Garcia writes:
“People came. A mask of heavy makeup was applied to my face. 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.”
Prince was clear in his request to Garcia that he didn’t want her to say anything about their late son, who was born on Oct. 16 that year, during the conversation with Oprah.
“I sat on the sofa, smiling a pretty ballerina smile,” Garcia writes. “I’d been instructed by my husband, ‘Say nothing about Amiir.'”
One portion of the interview, which aired on a November 1996 episode of the “Oprah” talk show, was filmed inside the nursery Prince had made for Amiir when Garcia was under the care of doctors.
She still isn’t sure, she writes, why Prince allowed the interview to venture into the nursery.
“Oprah saw it before I did. I have to wonder why he took her in there,” Garcia, 43, explains in the book. “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.”
Oprah eventually asked about their child’s rumored health issues, to which Prince simply replied, “It was all good,” according to Garcia.
A previous portion of the memoir, titled “The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince,” was posted online Wednesday by People.
In it, Garcia opens about their concerns about the baby’s health during her pregnancy, as well as the sorrow they suffered through after Amiir’s untimely death.
“I don’t think he ever got over it,” Garcia told People in an interview about the book. “I don’t know how anybody can get over it. I know I haven’t.”
Garcia and Prince, who died in April 2016 from an accidental drug overdose, where married from 1996 to 2000.