Prince's Wife, Manuela, Filed for Divorce
Testolini Nelson and Prince
07/27/2006 at 06:20 PM EDT
Prince's wife, Manuela Testolini Nelson, filed the petition to end their five-year union, PEOPLE has learned.
"Deciding to end the marriage was a very difficult decision for Ms. Nelson," says her attorney, Edward Winer. "She is seeking a cooperative resolution of this case and hopes the proceeding will be resolved quickly and respectfully. Ms. Nelson continues to be focused on her charitable work and her business, which remain her top priority."
Prince's personal lawyer, Patrick Cousins, confirms that Testolini Nelson is the petitioner. "His wife filed for divorce. This isn’t something that he wanted," says Cousins. "There isn't anything else. He didn't counter sue. He is just trying to get it resolved.”
The divorce action was filed at Minnesota's Hennepin County District Court on May 24. The documents are sealed. (Minneapolis's Star Tribune newspaper was first to report the story.)
"All we can do is to just try to amicably resolve it, and that is what we are trying to do," adds Cousins.
Prince (full name: Prince Rogers Nelson), 48, and Testolini Nelson, 29, a former employee at Prince's charitable foundation, were married in 2001. She took her husband's last name.
Testolini Nelson, a Toronto native, is the founder and president of Gamillah, Inc., which operates, among other ventures, a production company and a line of designer candles. She is also involved with nonprofits including YouthCARE and United Communities Against Poverty.
Prince, who is working on a follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2006 album 3121, was previously married to backup singer and dancer Mayte Garcia from 1996 through 1998, when their union was annulled.
With reporting by DANIEL S. LEVY