It was a truly epic love.
For a certain generation, it is hard to think of Prince without having Apollonia Kotero at his side. Even though their relationship was relatively brief, the image of their love affair in the wildly successful film Purple Rain remains as one of the most iconic visuals from the singer’s long and storied career.
So, naturally, when Prince died in April, the media quickly turned to Apollonia for a reaction. She largely kept quiet, other than posting a short message online, but, following a public appearance at a Purple Rain screening in Los Angeles this week, Apollonia posted a long, emotional goodbye to Prince on her official Facebook page, one final love letter for her longtime friend and mentor.
It’s passionate, rambling, and intimate, filled with anecdotes and personal details. It’s a letter where Apollonia admits that she’s been in “hell” since his death and that she “feels like his widow.”
The letter begins with:
My Dear Prince,
I have never known you to leave the stage so early.
4 long, dreadful months have passed since God welcomed you home. I miss you so much, the pain is unbearable, making it hard to breathe. Grief, depression, anger, and loneliness are like those bullies who taunted me in grade school. They have been relentless. My life has been a vortex of rage and despair. Waves of sadness washing away the pieces of my broken heart. My own personal hell on Earth. I feel like your widow.
I see you everywhere. I see you in everything. I know you wanted to live. You were so happy to be getting your music back. You told me of all your plans. Your plans for me. For A6. I was so excited because you were going to bring me back to Paisley Park to see the finished Purple Rain Room with our images in murals painted on the walls. You wanted to celebrate with A6 and present to us our Platinum Albums.
The weekend of April 15, 2016, you knew I was on my way to see you. I kept calling your manager to confirm my arrival, and continued to call for you desperately to no avail. On the morning of April 21, I woke up to the worst day of my life. Suddenly my phone began to scream with calls, texts, alerts! I hear messages from Jill Jones, Susan Moonsie and Brenda Bennett. I return their calls. "No...No..." It must be someone else. An employee. A fan possibly? They said something horrible happened inside your home. I turn on CNN. It has to be a hoax. It's a mistake I thought.
The letter is equal parts a pained goodbye and a suggestion that Prince had many projects — several featuring Apollonia — still planned for the future.
Her missive also attacks those who have seemingly profited off of the singer’s death (namely the media and an array of false friends), stating that, “I am devastated by the horrible things said by those who do not know you. The vile gossip. The cruel, merciless tabloids. I could not watch, listen or read about you. The vultures circling your still warm body. The greed. The lies. The false claims. Shame on them.”
But, aside from a few moments of anger directed at unnamed exploiters, Apollonia’s letter is largely positive, funny, and nostalgic. One of the best parts is a section where she recounts a visit into one of the most mythical places on Earth — Prince’s secret “vault” where he allegedly stored hundreds of songs and music videos that he never planned on releasing to the public.
She describes her visit to the Willy Wonka-esque vault as such:
It's a museum with a secret maze. Your secret doors and the secret panels. A fun house. "It's a city," I say. You tell me it's your sanctuary. Then you ask me if I would like to see your vault. "I do not wish to see your money" I respond. We walk towards a bank vault-like door. You politely explain what's inside is far more important than money. You open the vault and say "MY MUSIC."
"I have a surprise for you", you say with a huge grin. We walk into a soundstage so gigantic it needs it's own zip code. Third Eye Girl is waiting for me, suited up and stage ready. So talented and beautiful! I was honored. You sat me right next to your mike on the stage. Close. So close. Thisclose. You sang our songs. You stared at me and I stared right back at you. It was beautiful.
You can read the whole letter HERE on her official Facebook page.
It’s a wonderful, personal tribute to a man that so many of us admired, yet so few of us ever got to see behind his rock star persona. Apollonia knew him better than most, and her final love letter gives us a brief glimpse that proves that the man was as magical in person as he was on the stage. Which, frankly, is a tremendous way to remember him.