In the latest issue of the super-reliable National Enquirer, writers claim the late Prince was diagnosed with AIDS six months before his untimely passing on April 21. According to the report–which The Daily Mail and Yahoo! expanded on–Prince refused treatment because he thought prayer could cure him.
The explosive Enquirer story features a slew of sordid specifics about the diagnosis. It claims Prince contracted HIV in the 1990s, but it turned into AIDS last year. During the last few months of his life, Prince allegedly abused Percocet to numb any pain. His body temperature dropped from 98.6 degrees to 94 degrees, and he weighed just 80 pounds. Again, this is all according to one National Enquirer report.
You can read the saga here, which includes more invasive fodder like how Prince reportedly ran to a local pharmacy in Minneapolis to pick up “bags” of prescriptions and made women call him “The Messiah” during wild sex sessions. We don’t have the stomach to regurgitate everything. It doesn’t feel right.
And the National Enquirer and other trolls airing this drivel–which, for all we know, could be bogus–need to get on the same train. All of this seems like nothing but a smear campaign against a music icon. Why can’t we just let the man rest without dragging his name through the mud? Stop tarnishing his reputation.
Also, the fact the National Enquirer is painting this AIDS diagnosis as salacious is very problematic. It proves society still has an archaic, offensive view of AIDS as taboo. It’s not. If Prince had died of cancer–he didn’t, to our knowledge–would that make the front page of a splashy tabloid? Would outlets give his sex life a negative connotation? Nope.
Bringing up the fact he had AIDS–whether true or not–does nothing to advance any kind of educational conversation. It’s a sinister attempt to damage the superstar persona Prince spent literally decades building. He isn’t the first celebrity to experience this kind of post-death treatment. We watched tabloids and consumers rip apart every facet of Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson’s lives after they passed. For the diehard fans, it didn’t do anything, but it certainly affected how the general public viewed these once-revered entertainers.
The same thing is happening now with Prince. Of course, facts are facts. We can’t raise hell about any objective information that comes out about Prince’s death–no matter how upsetting. However, claiming Prince had AIDS using unidentified sources and detailing his “sex dungeons” isn’t that. It’s tabloid media at its most depressing.
Let the legends stay legends, please.
Watch Prince talk about his collaborators in this throwback VH1 video.