November 4, 2016
Apollonia Kotero Remembers Prince As Iconic ‘Purple Rain’ Jacket Hits Auction Block

Apollonia Kotero has paid tribute to her late mentor and friend, Prince, in a touching Facebook post. Apollonia, who starred with the iconic singer in the 1984 movie Purple Rain, waited until several days after his death before posting to social media, but now she is thanking fans for their love and support. Prince was found dead late last week in his Paisley Park compound at age 57.

While several of the music legend's other close friends from his Purple Rain era, including Sheila E. and Morris Day, spoke out immediately following his sudden death, Apollonia Kotero told fans she wasn't ready to express what was in her heart.

But several days later, Apollonia posted to Facebook, telling fans that they have been her support system as she grieves over the death of her close friend and Purple Rain co-star. Kotero also revealed that she will share more when it is "appropriate.""My dear friends and family, thank you so much for your sentiments and prayers," Apollonia wrote. "The love you have shown for my dear friend Prince has been my support system. Your dedication to him is profound and beyond words."

Kotero also revealed that she has been spending time with a special friend who has served as her guide in the aftermath of the tragedy.

"Please know that during these most difficult days I have spent my time with my close friend and media consultant Elliot Mintz," Kotero wrote. "He has been my guide and guardian angel as I want to honor and continue to have the greatest respect for Prince and his preference for privacy. When I am ready and it's appropriate I will share with you all that is in my heart and all that is my truth. Thank you for your love, understanding and patience. You are everything 2 me."

Elliot Mintz, the man who Apollonia refers to in her post, is a well-known media consultant who has represented everyone from John Lennon to Paris Hilton in his prolific career.

Apollonia Kotero has had a very difficult year. Just two months before Prince's death, Kotero's good friend, Denise Matthews, also known as Vanity, died from kidney problems. Apollonia replaced Vanity in the movie Purple Rain, but they were longtime friends after the film wrapped. They were so close that after Vanity's death, Kotero told The Wrap that the Vanity 6 singer's death marked the end of an era for her.

"A truly sad day for all of us who have been a part of the Prince Family," Kotero said. "Vanity was an inspiration for me and for all the ladies of the Family who followed."

With the death of Prince himself just two months later, it is all clearly too much for Apollonia Kotero to bear. Everyone mourns in their own way and Apollonia has chosen to step away from the spotlight as she grieves in private.

As the world says goodbye to Prince, a rare piece of his past with Apollonia is hitting the auction block. According to NBC New York, the iconic black and white blazer worn by the singer in Purple Rain is going up for auction. The late superstar wore the jacket during an iconic scene in which he rode a motorcycle with Apollonia Kotero, and it is a rare find from an artist whose personal memorabilia has been virtually nonexistent. The jacket was originally given to a makeup artist on the Purple Rain set after she worked with the late icon. The auction asking price for the Purple Rain jacket is $6,000 to $8,000, but it will likely fetch much, much more.

In an interview with Spin, Apollonia recalled the first time she ever met the Purple Rain star back in the 1980s.

"I was in South America and Mexico — singing in nightclubs, doing commercials, TV series, films," Kotero said. "I had to submit my tape with songs and the acting reel, meet the producers in L.A., and meet Prince in Minnesota. He was shy. And he smelled real good. Like purple. We sat there and stared at each other for the longest time."

Take a look at the video below to see Apollonia's famous Purple Rain motorcycle ride with the late music legend.

[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for IMG]