FBI file: Prince faced extortion, death threats
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The legendary musician Prince, who died last April, was known to take stalkers in stride — but one threat on his life and an extortion attempt made it all the way to the FBI.

One person apparently threatened to sell documents to the media related to the death of his infant son, the cause of which was briefly under investigation, in 1997. 

The highly redacted hand-written document in the FBI file does not disclose what the person wanted in return from Prince; those details are blacked out. 


Although information about the documents the person wanted to sell are also redacted, the filing notes that Prince was “in court attempting to determine if [redacted] can sell the documents. The death of Prince’s son is also being investigated by authorities.”

The Justice Department “declined federal prosecution because the case does not meet federal prosecutive standards.”

The music pioneer, whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson, has a 19-page file with the FBI, 13 pages of which had been withheld from the public to protect personal privacy and law enforcement methods.

The Hill obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. 

The extortion attempt stemmed from a dark moment in Price's life.

Prince and his then-wife Mayte Garcia had a baby boy in October 1996, who died a week later due to a rare genetic disorder called Pfeiffer syndrome type 2. Fiercely private, Prince very rarely spoke about the child or his death.

Minnesota law enforcement honed in on the cause of death and its circumstances, which had been shrouded in secrecy.

According to reports at the time, two women said that they cared for the baby boy during his short life, had him cremated and falsified names on official records, as directed by Prince.

Prince then sued the employees, whom he also fired, on the grounds that they had violated a confidentiality agreement. 

Authorities verified the child's cause of death as the genetic disorder following a three-month investigation.

Another document in the FBI filing shows that in 2005, a woman called the office of someone who worked for the entertainer, threatening to harm him and “make his life miserable.” It appears as if that investigation also went no further.

But Prince had been typically comfortable dealing with what others may consider threats. 

In a 2008 interview with the New Yorker, the “Purple Rain” singer said that a woman he did not know would sometimes sit on swings in his private estate, known as Paisley Park.

“So I went out there one day and I was, like, 'Hey, all my friends in there say you're a stalker. And that I should call the police. But I don't want to do that, so why don't you tell me what you want to happen. Why are you here? How do you want this to end?' And she didn't really have an answer for that. In the end, all she wanted was to be seen, for me to look at her. And she left and didn't come back,” Prince told the magazine. 

Prince died on April 21, 2016 due to an accidental overdose of the powerful painkiller fentanyl, according to authorities.