NEW YORK — A former assistant to Prince until last year has spent the days since his death trying to figure out how her boss, whom she described as very healthy, could have died so suddenly, adding that she never saw him ingest any drugs during her employ.
Mariah Brown, 25, said Prince didn't even drink, and she never saw him take any pills, nor did she get any on his behalf.
"He was a very, very healthy person. ... That man has more energy than me, and anyone I know," she told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday.
She added: "The whole death didn't make sense to me. ... He never came across as sick, or anything like that. "
Prince was found dead April 21 at his compound in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Toxicology reports will not be available for weeks, but a law enforcement official has told the AP that investigators are looking into whether Prince died from an overdose and whether a doctor was prescribing him drugs in the weeks beforehand. The official has been briefed on the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.
Prince had rescheduled concerts in the days before his death, citing illness.
Brown started working for Prince when she was referred by one of his friends who also worked with him. At the time, Brown was a 23-year-old model. . As his assistant, she brought him his food, bought his clothes and did other tasks non-celebrities do for themselves on a daily basis. She also toured with him in addition to managing his personal details.
"My experience with him was phenomenal; he's like no other," said Brown. "It was like magical."
Brown said she spent most of her days at Paisley Park: She might start at 1 p.m. and leave in the wee morning hours. He typically was working on his music but would sometimes spend hours talking to Brown and others, about anything.
She remembers him telling them "'there's no endings. You can do whatever you want, as long as you put your all into it.' ... The words 'can't' and 'no' never existed in his life."
Prince was the only person who lived at Paisley Park, but she and his band members spent so many hours there, he wasn't alone for most of the day. One moment he could be playing pingpong with his crew in fierce battle mode and the next he'd be at his sound stage.
And when the band or Brown would leave, he knew he could call them back and they'd be there.
"We would all stay about a mile up the road," she said. "It was one of those things where if he did call and needed something, we would go get it for him."
Brown recalls calling him "Uncle P." One time, after spending a month with Prince on the road in Europe, she was exhausted and tired, and just broke down into tears because of how much she had to do.
"Prince came into the room, and we had just one of the most meaningful conversations, and he was handing me tissues," she remembered.
There was also another point where Prince wasn't playing his classic hit "Little Red Corvette" in concert, which was Brown's favorite. So one day, he asked her for something, and she said she would get it on one condition: that he add the song to his set.
"It just made me so happy. He's just that kind of person. He's always trying to see the best in people," she said.
Brown said the two parted ways on a mutual note. She sent him a couple of emails just asking how he was after she left and he responded.
Why, she wonders, was he left alone if seriously ill?
"It hurts my heart because I don't know the story," she said.
Brown said she has stayed away from social media because of all the gossip surrounding Prince's death.
"It's like people are coming out . just to try and throw dirt on his name," she said. "It's sad. Let that man rest in peace. "