(This opinion must be prefaced by what is a known fact about Prince fans – they are a very loving group and try to abide by his example of loving one another. However, they are fiercely protective of his image and will let it be known that the tarnishing of his image, his reputation, and his legacy will not be tolerated.)
The recent article published by People magazine has unleashed a torrent of tweets and Facebook posts in which they are rising to his defense or to the defense of his ex-wife.The article purports to be an interview with Mayte Garcia, one of the ex-wives of Prince. However, the asides and editorializing of her comments, appear to be efforts to produce sensationalism where there is none. And that leads to the questions: Did the writers of the article go to far? Or not far enough?
A review of excerpts from the article reveal that the answer to both questions is yes. Seemingly, these two writers used a fill-in-the-blank approach to their writing of this article. Twisting the words of Ms. Garcia via attaching their own assumptions to her words.
The first thing that is completely unfair and biased to both Prince and Ms. Garcia is the characterization of events which occurred subsequent to the death of their son. The authors use the word “dragged” when describing Prince’s efforts to get her to join him in the Oprah interview.They seem to ignore that he was the child’s father, who was also grieving, but trying to move forward. Sure she described what happened, but there was nothing to indicate that she was “dragged” out of bed. If anything, she was being pulled away from her grief, but so was he. And, Ms. Garcia was quoted in years past saying that they wanted to show that they were strong, indicated that the decision to do the Oprah interview was mutual: (See link to Hollywood life article below)
“We had to show people that we were strong,that we had faith,and that we would try again.”
(This writer, who also had a child to die, can state in hindsight that there is a lingering wish to have been pulled away from the grief-filled bed instead of being allowed to lay there for months.) The writers clearly attempt to twist the story and bend it against Prince instead of towards a grieving couple. Had they done any research, they would have known that couples seldom know exactly what to do and an attempt to pull their spouse out of the grief with an activity is an act of love, and not an act of malice.
The next glaring omission by the writers is that they apparently failed to mention his severe and chronic hip pain, and his need for a second hip surgery. Injured by many years of jumping from high places while performing … in heels, and all of his acrobatic dances on stage, including splits. Many while holding his guitar. So instead of acknowledging his chronic and severe pain, the writers infer and imply that Prince was using some sort of drug for no reason. Were the ‘drugs’ painkillers? Not far enough.
The inference and interpretations go even further, when they state, and not as a quote, that people had “no idea he was battling drug addiction”. But they offer no proof that there was any such “battle”. In fact, his cause of death states he died from an “accidental” overdose from a painkiller. The other fact is that Ms. Garcia states that she never saw him do “anything”, yet the writers move that statement to a ‘battle’ with ‘drug addiction’. Too far.
When Ms. Garcia states he had to have his stomach pumped, the writers insert the word “claimed” as if to infer that he was lying when stating the reason having been the mixing wine and aspirin.
Prince was a devout Jehovah’s Witness, yet the writers describe his spiritual path as a “retreat”, applying which could be interpreted by some as being negative and unreal. Did the writers interview his church members? Or Larry Graham? If the answer is no, then what gives them license to label his acceptance of his chosen faith as a “retreat”? Nothing. Too far.
And then there is the meeting of Prince and Mayte. Again the writers did not go far enough, for they infer and imply that Prince merely “met” or saw Mayte and aggressively pursued her when she was but sixteen years old. However, they fail to add that he was first introduced to him via her mother who sent him a video of her belly-dancing. ( Suggestive much?) Mayte’s mother then allowed her 16-year-old daughter to go to Minnesota where she stayed until they were married a few years later! But Mayte has repeatedly stated in interviews that Prince never made any sort of advances towards her until she was 18 years old and qualifies that statement with her words that he was “very respectful” towards her and never did anything that was untoward. (See link to article below)
The writing technique of these writers is irresponsible, but as only another writer can recognize it, it is seldom called out by the readers. Intermingling quotes with their own inferences,opinions, and makes it clear that the article needed something to spice it up and they apparently shamelessly employed those techniques which lead the average reader attribute all that is written within to Mayte Garcia instead of themselves.
Who is most hurt by this? Prince, first and foremost, and of course his friends and fans who know better, but also Ms. Garcia who had her actual words editorialized by writers to make it appear as if she said something which she did not. That sort of literary shading is harmful to all parties and all readers.
These are a couple of facts that all should read, accept, and then move forward to protecting his legacy from these sort of sensationalist publications. Prince married Mayte. He loved her. They lost two children. They broke up. Then he didn’t love her. Relationships end and “tell-all” books never tell the entire story, especially when one of the subjects is no longer around to contribute to that story. Mayte has been diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis but even she knows,in her heart of hearts, if Prince were alive, he would help her financially with the medical bills. He was a kind and giving soul, and according to those closest to him, even Mayte, there is no indication that he was addicted to drugs.
And lastly, if he was taking painkillers, he was doing so when he was not in optimum health. It can be assumed that he was grieving the passing of Vanity, and even his own personal chef has stated that his appetite decreased. In fact, he did not even eat the last meal prepared for him. That is what grief will do to you. Taking a painkiller on an empty stomach is never advised. And, in this way, in addition to going to far, the writers did not go far enough to provide readers with sufficient background to provide a fair picture of Prince Rogers Nelson. And that is irresponsible and sensationalized journalism. Prince fans should blame the writers for their inserted messages into this article and do what they can to protect his image from being tarnished. Just be certain that the blame for doing so is placed upon the proper shoulders.