Philanthropy is what brought Prince and ex-wife Manuela Testolini together and now Testolini will honor him through charity work—building a school in his honor.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Testolini expressed immense grief after hearing about the death of Prince on April 21.
“The love we shared, the music he made, and our life together is forever engraved in my heart,” she said. “I will always love and respect him. I am heartbroken beyond words.”
She went on to say: “Prince and I had a magical journey together and I loved him immensely. I knew him as a husband, friend and fierce philanthropist. Philanthropy brought us together and it was Prince that encouraged me to start my own charity over 10 years ago.”
The couple married in 2001 and divorced in 2006, remaining friends throughout the years. According to the 39-year-old philanthropist, she was recently in contact with the “Purple Rain” musician and he was aware of her plans to build a school in his honor.
“I just reached out to [Prince] a few days ago to let him know that I was building a school in his honor,” she said. “My heart aches that the school will now be built in his memory.”
Testolini, an advocate for young girls obtaining quality education, established a program called REACH (Rural Education and Community Harmony), which provides funding to the construction of schools in poverty stricken regions of the world, including Haiti, Senegal, Mali, and Nicaragua.
When it comes to where the school in Prince’s memory would be—she had hoped to have the musician’s input on the location.
Testolini plans to build several schools in his honor, but for now she needs to time to grieve.
She said the news has resulted in a “devastating feeling of pain and loss.”