When rock icon Prince‘s frail, lifeless body was discovered in the elevator of his Paisley Park mansion in April 2016, it not only stunned millions of his fans worldwide, it shocked many of those close to the musician, who had no idea he was battling drug addiction — including his ex-wife and one-time muse Mayte Garcia.
In an exclusive interview and excerpt from her upcoming memoir, The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince, that appears in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, Garcia admits, “I never actually saw Prince doing drugs. He didn’t want me to. I’m sure he knew what my reaction would be.”
Despite never witnessing Prince using drugs, she references several “disturbing occasions when he told me he was ‘sick’ or had a ‘migraine’ ” that seem to hint at the rock star’s substance abuse issues.
“Looking back now and being much older I can see it was something else,” Garcia, now 43, tells PEOPLE. “I never saw him do anything – not even take an aspirin.”
And yet within weeks of the couple’s wedding on Valentine’s Day 1996, she received a late night phone call from one of her husband’s bodyguards, informing her that an unconscious Prince had been rushed to the hospital to have his stomach pumped. He claimed he’d combined wine and aspirin.
This story originally appeared on PEOPLE.
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