Sinead O’Connor has branded Prince a ‘violent abuser of women’ and claimed he ‘terrorized’ and physically assaulted her when she visited his Hollywood mansion in the 1990s.
O’Connor, 54, made the bombshell allegation in her forthcoming memoir, titled Rememberings, which was previewed in a New York Times profile on Tuesday – four years after Prince’s death from a drug overdose.
The Irish singer said Prince had invited her to his home after her 1991 cover of his song Nothing Compares 2 U became an international hit – and she ended up fleeing in the middle of the night.
‘She writes that Prince summoned her to his macabre Hollywood mansion, chastised her for swearing in interviews, harangued his butler to serve her soup though she repeatedly refused it, and sweetly suggested a pillow fight, only to thump her with something hard he’d slipped into his pillowcase,’ the Times reported.
‘When she escaped on foot in the middle of the night, she writes, he stalked her with his car, leapt out and chased her around the highway.’
In her own words, O’Connor wrote: ‘You’ve got to be crazy to be a musician.
‘But there’s a difference between being crazy and being a violent abuser of women.’
Sinead O’Connor branded Prince a ‘violent abuser of women’ and claimed he ‘terrorized’ and physically assaulted her when she visited his Hollywood mansion in the 1990s in her forthcoming memoir. Pictured: O’Connor in 2019 (left) and Prince in 2014 (right)
Despite the incident O’Connor indicated that she does not regret having adopted Nothing Compares 2 U from the rock star, saying: ‘As far as I’m concerned. it’s my song.’
Prince had recorded his rendition of the song he wrote in 1984 but did not release it – instead passing it along to The Family, the jazz-funk band he put formed.
O’Connor released her cover seven years later and it shot to the top of the charts, earning her a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year.
Prince’s original recording was finally released in 2018 on the second anniversary of his death aged 57.
His longtime sound engineer, Susan Rogers, revealed at the time of the release that Prince had written the song in about an hour.
‘The song came out like a sneeze,’ Rogers told The Guardian.
While it is unknown why Prince wasn’t keen on releasing his version of the song, Rogers speculated that he didn’t want the ‘domestic’ and ‘romantic’ themes to reflect his personal life at the time.
O’Connor released her cover of Nothing Compares 2 U in 1991 and it shot to the top of the charts, earning her a Grammy nomination. She is pictured in the music video
Prince is seen performing his version of Nothing Compares 2 U. He wrote and recorded the song in 1984 but it was not released until 2018
O’Connor’s full account of what happened at Prince’s mansion will come to light when her memoir is released on June 1.
It comes eight years after she promised to someday share the story ‘when I’m an old lady and I write my book’ in a 2013 interview with Uncut.
This isn’t the first time O’Connor has made unflattering claims about Prince after he was found dead from an accidental fentanyl overdose at his famed Paisley Park mansion in Minnesota.
Two years ago it emerged that two weeks after his death O’Connor was interviewed by police and alleged he had a life-long hard drug habit and beat women while high.
O’Connor told investigators with the Carver County Sheriff’s Office that the singer put several women in hospital and claimed she had suffered the abuse first-hand.
She also alleged that Prince was ‘into devil worship’, telling investigators: ‘It’s not just drugs he was into, it was darkness.’
Prince (pictured in 1991) died aged 57 from an accidental fentanyl overdose on April 21, 2016
O’Connor is seen heading to a party hosted by Prince at Camden Palace in July 1988
In her book O’Connor also opened up about her own struggles with drug abuse and wrote at length about how she developed her reputation as ‘insane’ at the height of her career in the early 90s.
One of her most provocative moments came in 1992, when she tore up a photo of the Pope in protest against the Catholic Church’s alleged involvement in child abuse during an appearance on Saturday Night Live.
Speaking to the Times, O’Connor said she believes the public’s ‘overreaction’ to the stunt represented a bigger problem with the way women are treated in music.
‘Not because I was famous or anything, but because I was a human being, I had a right to put my hand up and say what I felt,’ she said.
‘I’m not sorry I did it. It was brilliant. But it was very traumatizing. It was open season on treating me like a crazy bitch.’
O’Connor went on to explain how her negative public portrayal was, in a way, freeing.
‘I could just be me. Do what I love. Be imperfect. Be mad, even,’ she wrote in her book.
‘I’m not a pop star. I’m just a troubled soul who needs to scream into mikes now and then.’
O’Connor has continued to be a magnet for controversy in the years since. She made headlines in 2018 when she announced that she had converted to Islam and changed her name to Shuhada Sadaqat.
She spoke to the Times about her book from a small cottage in the Irish countryside, where she’s been living a quieter life during the pandemic.
O’Connor wrote about the provocative moment she tore up a photo of the Pope in protest against the Catholic Church’s alleged involvement in child abuse during an appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1992
In her book O’Connor (pictured in 1991) also opened up about her own struggles with drug abuse and wrote at length about how she developed her reputation as ‘insane’ at the height of her career in the early 90s