The many secrets Prince tried to hide

One week after putting on a show-stopping performance at Atlanta's Fox Theater, Prince Rogers Nelson — better known as Prince — was found unresponsive in an elevator inside of his Paisley Park studio compound. His April 21, 2016 death sparked an outpouring of grief from the music world and beyond, with many in utter disbelief that the music legend's life was cut so short.

It was later determined "he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more powerful than heroin," according to the Associated Press. News of his cause of death sparked countless questions about the "Little Red Corvette" singer's life. Though it was apparent that he lived a very rich and glamorous lifestyle, his shocking death also unearthed painful secrets about his past, from financial problems, potential drug addiction, and the tragic loss of two children. 

Here are the many secrets Prince tried to hide.

He fathered a secret child

Of all the secrets Prince kept in his life, arguably the most heavily guarded was the birth of his son in 1996. At the time, tabloids were running rampant with rumors that the baby had been born with health problems or birth defects. Eventually, the media circus grew so crazy, Prince's record company finally acknowledged that, yes, Prince and his then-wife, Mayte Garcia, had given birth. Nothing was mentioned about the boy's condition, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Media outlets then began reporting that the baby had died. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune obtained what they reported to be the child's death certificate, on which the baby's name was listed as "Boy Gregory." It was also reported that the child had died seven days after birth from Pfieffer syndrome, Type 2, a "rare skull deformity resulting from a genetic mutation."

Garcia later wrote in her memoir, The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince (via Daily Mail), that they had named their son Amiir, and their baby boy's death was something that greatly affected Prince. "I don't think he ever got over it," she wrote. "I don't know how anybody can get over it. I know I haven't."

His wife had a miscarriage

According to The Mirror, Garcia-Nelson suffered a miscarriage shortly after the death of her and Prince's son. The trauma from losing two children had devastating effects on the couple's relationship and may have become a catalyst for their split. "To lose two babies is really scary…it really caught on me emotionally, physically, everything," Garcia-Nelson told The Mirror. "It took me at least 15 years to get over it and still, to this day, I miss my son. I believe a child dying between a couple either makes you stronger or it doesn't. For me, it was very, very hard to move forward and for us as a couple I think it probably broke us."

Garcia-Nelson went on to say the miscarriage left her "physically distraught." "When you miscarry your body is freaking out, like 'Why can't I feed the baby?' so those were the things I went through. Every day was a struggle even to breathe," she said.

Did Prince have a drug problem?

In the wake of Prince's death, the Star-Tribune reported that police were investigating the role that prescription drugs might have played in the singer's demise. Among the areas of investigation: the emergency landing that Prince's private plane made in Moline, Ill., just six days before his death. According to TMZ, Prince was rushed to a hospital and given an emergency "save shot" typically administered to counteract the effects of an opioid; doctors advised him to stay in the hospital for 24 hours, but Prince and his team reportedly bailed after three hours because the hospital could not provide a private room.

Amid the police investigation, two reports from the Star-Tribune seemed to confirm that Prince was battling an opiate addiction. One story said Prince was being treated by a physician for withdrawal symptoms several weeks before his death; another reported that he was scheduled to meet with a California doctor to help kick his painkiller addiction one day after his death.

Six weeks after his death, the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that Prince died from an accidental opioid overdose. According to People, the performer took too much Fentanyl, a controlled substance with a high risk for addiction and dependence that is used to treat severe pain. A press release from the medical examiner's office said the performer weighed only 112 lbs. at the time of his death.

His sister battled drug addiction

The late singer's youngest sister, Tyka Nelson, opened up about her struggles with addiction in a heartbreaking 2003 interview with The National Enquirer (via Eurweb). Though they were raised in the same household, their lives ventured off down very different paths, with Prince being propelled into superstardom and Nelson revealing that her substance abuse issues ultimately led her to being homeless and resorting to prostitution. "I was a single mother and my boys were babies," Nelson said. "I sold my body for food, money and Pampers…I pawned the car Prince had given me and sold the kids' TV for drugs." 

Nelson also admitted to the publication that her relationship with Prince was strained from time to time, revealing he helped her enter into a drug rehab program, but would often turn his back on her, as well. "I love my brother," she told the Enquirer. "But I'm not a yo-yo. He can't just keep spinning me in and out of his life."

Was he sexually abusive?

Much has been made about Prince's wild and passionate love affairs. It's long been rumored that the song "Scandalous Love Suite" included sounds of the artist and actress Kim Basinger getting to know each other in the studio. But not all of Prince's relationships were smooth sailing, at least according to a lawsuit filed by his former girlfriend of two years, Charlene Friend. In court documents obtained by the Daily Mail, Friend alleged that Prince "would have bizarre sex parties where he had different theme rooms. He kept people in rooms at his homes and would have different acts in each room. He had cages, chains, whips in these rooms. Sometimes he would watch and sometimes he would participate."

Friend also alleged in the lawsuit that Prince "ran hot and cold, treating me nicely, then being cruel. He would kick me out of bed, ordering me to sleep elsewhere. I would want to leave but he would prevent me. He said I belonged to him. He also demanded that I be on call for him…Prince threatened to have me killed after we broke up, saying no one else could have me."

Prince denied Friend's allegations, which originally came to light during a property dispute following the couple's breakup, reported the New York Post.

His finances were a hot mess

The absence of a will sent Prince's surviving family members into a tizzy as they began to sort out who would actually inherit what. But according to TMZ, Prince's business affairs had been in disarray for years. It was "virtually impossible" to get his signature on any legal documents because he felt he had been "screwed over" by people in the past, TMZ reported, noting that his closest advisors were "beautiful, 20-something women, all models with no experience in anything" pertaining to financial security.

Two years after his death, the singer's heirs — his six surviving siblings — had yet to inherit any part of his estimated $200 million estate, according to Forbes.

As of this writing, without a will and estate plan in place, the IRS and the executor of his estate have been unable to divvy up the funds because the actual value of his estate at the time of the "Raspberry Beret" singer's death is still undetermined.

His secret stash of music

In the basement of his Paisley Park studio, Prince kept a secret vault that only the closest members of his inner circle were privy to.

According to the CBC, following the singer's April 2016 death, the Carver County Sheriff's office released photos from inside the vault, and it was jam-packed with some hidden treasures, including "reel-to-reel tapes of classic albums," rare footage on VHS, "endless Batman-inspired works," "a duet with Michael Jackson," "a costume for the Minnesota Twins' mascot," "67 gold bars valued at $840,000 USD, and 47 pairs of high-heeled ankle boots."  

Shockingly, the vault also included what archivists claimed was enough recorded music to release a posthumous album "every year for the next 100 years." And, thankfully, fans will get to enjoy some of the unreleased tunes, according to Rolling Stone.

A digital album, which is slated for release in 2019 through Jay-Z's streaming service, Tidal, will precede a physical album to be released by the late singer's estate. "Our only goal is to share Prince's music with his fans as he wanted," Jay-Z said in a statement. 

Alleged depression during his final days

At the time of his death, Prince was in a relationship with a woman named Judith Hill. And while being interviewed by the Carver County Sheriff's office, Hill told investigators that the singer had been in a despondent mood in the days prior to his April 2016 death, the Daily Mail reported.

Hill said during his final concert in Atlanta, on April 16, 2016, Prince walked off the stage and told her, "I enjoy sleeping more these days … maybe it means I've done all I'm supposed to do here on Earth." When Hill asked him if he no longer enjoyed being "here" while he's awake, Prince reportedly answered, "No, it's boring, incredibly boring."

Hill went on to describe Prince as being "kind of depressed," and he even referred to his final performance as the "mountain top," before telling Hill: "Now I can go away."