It’s been a hard five months for Apollonia Kotero. The Purple Rain star posted a heartbreaking open letter on Facebook this week to her late co-star and lover Prince, telling the rock icon, “I miss you so much, the pain is unbearable, making it hard to breathe.” The letter came on the same day that the former Apollonia 6 leader appeared on a panel for Purple Rain: Celebration, a screening presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in Beverly Hills.
“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,” she writes in the letter, using Prince’s signature numbers-for-letters style. “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.”
She goes on to tell of Prince’s plans for the future and her part in them.
“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.”
Apollonia also says that she was on her way to see him just days before his death on April 21, and that she “desperately” tried to reach his manager to get in touch, 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!… “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 grief, she writes, was almost too much for her to bear.
“After what feels like broken glass ripping at my heart, they confirm my worst nightmare. I touch your sweet face with my fingertips, but it’s only my TV screen. The TV is shut off. It remained that way for weeks.”
Apollonia reveals that she couldn’t even cry, or believe it was true and that her heart “exploded into a million pieces that morning” and continues to ache over the “vile gossip” that has come in the wake of the singer’s death from an overdose of prescription pain medication.
“I am certain you are watching, having the last laugh because you predicted this. ‘The enemy sends people into our lives just as God does. Be wise enough to know who to let in and who to let go.’ ‘The devil will walk into a room with tears and will try to make you feel sorry for him.’ You said these exact words to me in 2014. ‘Jubilant Judas fakes tears.'”
The letter goes on to relate a meeting the two had in June 2014 at Paisley park, at which Apollonia said she gave him a bejeweled gold crown charm and said that although the world called him Prince, to her he was “a King.” She says they kissed and cried and celebrated their 30th anniversary that night with a private show featuring Prince and his band Third Eye Girl.
“You sang our songs. You stared at me and I stared right back at you. It was beautiful. I fell more in love with you. Imagine that. You filmed us. You then posted it. That entire night you made me feel like Charlie Bucket. Prince and The Music Factory. It was like a romantic sequel to our movie. You made me feel like a Princess.”
Near the end Apollonia even jokes about tapping Stranger Things creators the Duffer Brothers, wondering if the Netflix series creators might help her figure out where to send her letter. “I’m sure you’re busy socializing with all your friends and music making up there, but where can I send this letter to you? Maybe I should call The Duffer Brothers for help, as we know stranger things have happened? I promise to check in with you often.”
She wraps up by relating that she finally surfed again on Monday and it brought her some joy. “I thought about you there on the sand. Under the umbrella , watching me. Sand in your fro. Made me smile. I miss you Skipper.”
Click here to read the full letter.