She was a beautiful, belly-dancing ingénue just 16 years old. He was a multi-millionaire pop superstar, a global icon and, at 32, twice her age.
The four-year love affair between Prince and Mayte Garcia culminated in an extravagant marriage ceremony, an outlandish lifestyle and tragically, the loss of two children.
She also says the relationship “screwed” her for life and she can’t find lasting love. In her first British interview in nine years, Mayte gives a fascinating insight into the weird world of one of the planet’s most eccentric pop stars.
“When we met I was a virgin and had never been with anybody,” she reveals.A true tragedy broke them up:
“I’d always been a very focused dancer and very protected. Prince was my first crush, and my first love, but we didn’t start to get serious until I turned 18. He was very respectful.
“I remember our first kiss, and thinking, ‘Oh God, oh wow, this is not happening!’
She became pregnant almost at once, but their son Boy Gregory died just a week after birth due to Pfeiffer syndrome, a rare defect of the skull. That loss, followed by a miscarriage not long afterwards, tore the grieving couple apart.
Mayte explains: “To lose two babies is really scary... it really caught on me emotionally, physically, everything. It took me at least 15 years to get over it and still, to this day, I miss my son.
Today at 41, Mayte is tanned and fit. Refusing to be known merely as “Prince’s ex wife” she is now a bona fide Hollywood actress and has landed a leading role in the widely hyped new US ABC series, Kingmakers.Good for her.
She plays the wife of a senator and says the show is “scandalous, fun and full of twists and turns”.
When not acting, Mayte (pronounced “My-Tay, not “Matey” as I inadvertently call her) rescues animals. She has set up two dog sanctuaries and has six dogs, two cats and five birds at her LA home.
Wombat-socho has the weekly compendium up at The Other McCain: "Rule 5 Sunday: Pipe Dreams."