Patricia Apollonia Kotero is an American singer, actress, former model, and talent manager. Better known to the world as Apollonia, she rose to fame in the ’80s while starring with Prince in his cult classic film Purple Rain. Apollonia has had an incredible career, associated with one of the greatest rock stars of all time. She recently opened up about her relationship with the late star and how his death affected her.
Apollonia sat down with VladTV to speak about her life. Born in Santa Monica, CA to Mexican immigrant parents, Apollonia thrived in the glam rock-fueled ’80s entertainment industry. She scored a couple of minor roles on television shows like CHiPs, Tales of the Gold Monkey, Fantasy Island, Matt Houston, and Knight Rider. Eventually, she met and began dating Van Halen singer David Lee Roth. It was during this relationship that she would audition for and score the lead role in Prince’s film debut Purple Rain after his former protege Denise Katrina Matthews aka Vanity, dropped out.
Prince and Apollonia were a match made in cinematic heaven and became a signature pairing. Apollonia compared them to Sonny and Cher or Desi and Lucy. She would become the lead singer of Prince’s group Vanity 6, renamed Apollonia 6 for the film. Their working relationship would result in a tour and several songs featuring Apollonia before she left Prince’s camp to pursue other opportunities. Apollonia famous co-write the song “Manic Monday” for herself and her group before it was made famous by The Bangles.
Following Prince’s passing in 2016, Apollonia released a letter on Facebook where she expressed feeling like his “widow.” She called Prince her “platonic husband” and felt like he’d left her behind. “My Dear Prince, I have never known you to leave the stage so early,” she said in the caption, sharing it with an illustration inspired by the two of them in Purple Rain.
She talks about how Prince predicted the firestorm that would happen following his death. Rumors in the tabloids and people fighting over his catalog. “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,” she recalls him saying.
Despite their chemistry and so many people associating them with each other, Prince and Apollonia never confirmed a romantic relationship. During the filming, Prince was actually dating Apollonia 6 member Susan Moonsie-Mohan. He did, however, request that Apollonia be single while promoting the film, so she broke things off with David Lee Roth. “Prince didn’t want me to be known for dating someone famous,” Apollonia said. “He made me promise I wouldn’t date anyone publicly during the promotion of it.” This was not his only request; Prince also demanded that members of his entourage dress and sing like him too. Apollonia recalls him being a tyrant.
Prince would marry twice, Mayte Garcia in 1996 and Manuela Testolini in 2001. Apollonia was actually married before dating Roth and starring in Purple Rain. She wed Greg Patschull, an aspiring actor and martial artist, from 1980 to 1985. She would marry again in 1987 to actor Kevin Bernhardt. The pair divorced in 1997.