Mayte Garcia met Prince in 1990 when she was 16 years old while attending one of his concerts. A dancing prodigy, her mother actually set them up, indirectly, when she gave one of Prince's dancers a recording of Mayte performing and after watching it, he was instantly smitten. Prince snatched Mayte up to be a dancer on his Diamonds and Pearls tour, and the two married six years later on Valentine's Day in 1996. Their relationship, both personal and professional, was legendary and memorable, and showed us a whole other side to Prince we never otherwise would have seen. When Mayte appeared on VH1's Hollywood Exes beginning in 2012, her exuberant personality was in sharp contrast to what we know or Prince's private self. Mayte even explains in the video above that many people are stunned to learn she was married to him, telling her "Wow, you're normal."
And thanks to Mayte's openness on Hollywood Exes, we learned quite a bit about the music legend's personal side, from the family they hoped to have but the attempts were marred by tragedy, to the other women in Prince's life, to the fact that she never once referred to Prince as "Prince,". It was a beautiful, weird, magical relationship that Mayte could never quite get over, for good reason. There was no one like Prince on this earth, and there never will be. We are sending Mayte our best in what is certainly a difficult time for her and the rest of Prince's family, friends, and loved ones.
Mayte and Prince Were Both Devastated and Haunted By The Death Of Their Son
In 1996, Mayte gave birth to the pair's son, Boy Gregory, who was born with Pfeiffer Syndrome, a skull abnormality. The child lived for a week, and his death devastated the couple. Mayte became pregnant shortly thereafter and miscarried. She explained in an interview recently that the losses were a large part of why they divorced. "I believe a child dying between a couple either makes you stronger or it doesn’t. For me, it was very, very hard to move forward and for us as a couple I think it probably broke us."
Mayte Never Referred To Prince By His Name
Strange to never call your husband by his first name, but Mayte explained in an interview that when Prince changed his name in 1993 to the symbol, and became "The Artist Formerly Known As Prince" she found ways around using a proper name. "We never had any pet names, and I don’t think in the whole time we were together I called him anything, which I guess is a bit weird. I never called him Prince because I wanted him to be a person to me, not the man behind Purple Rain. Plus, technically, I was married to the Symbol...When we got married it was much easier. If someone else was there I could say, ‘Could I speak to my husband please?’"
Prince's Ex-Wives Were Great Friends
In this clip from Hollywood Exes, Mayte, Prince's first wife, swaps stories and baby photos with Manuela Testolini, his second wife. "There's no other person that can understand what I went through," Mayte explains.
Mayte Possessed Most of The Couple's Belongings, Which Included China Emblazoned With His Genderless Symbol
Mayte had an impossible time letting go of the wedding china from her nuptials with Prince, and she also kept a large portion of his wardrobe, which she only recently decided to auction off. Also at the auction: her engagement ring, handwritten lyrics, her wedding dress, love notes Prince wrote to Mayte, and the china, which was monogrammed with Prince's legendary symbol.
He Loved Living in Minnesota for the Anonymity
Mayte explains that Prince was "True to what you guys think," and "we didn't go grocery shopping in sunglasses or anything, that's why we lived in Minnesota."
No doubt about it, the man was a legend, but thanks to Mayte, we love having a glimpse at a rare, personal side to him that few people got to see.