Prince’s Protegee Recalls Terrifying Emergency Plane Landing
Prince’s protegee Judith Hill “thought he was gone” when he lost consciousness on his private plane, just six days before his death. The “Purple Rain” singer, who would have turned 58 earlier this month, passed away from an opioid overdose on April 21.
On April 15, Hill had been with Prince as he traveled from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to head back to Minneapolis. She told The New York Times that she was chatting to the superstar and enjoying dinner with him on the aircraft when she witnessed him lose consciousness. Hill was on the plane with Prince and the singer’s aide Kirk Johnson, and when the pair couldn’t revive the superstar, they alerted the pilot who made the decision to land the plane. When the aircraft landed at Moline, Illinois, the group were met by an ambulance and Prince was revived with a shot of Narcan – used to treat opioid overdoses. He quickly regained consciousness, which Hill said “was such a relief to me, because I thought he was gone.” Despite her incredibly close relationship to Prince, Hill remained unaware of his health struggles. She had no idea of his pain until she read about it following his tragic death, and remains overwhelmed by how he kept his issues hidden from everyone. “I only know what everyone knows about his pain – I read about it,” she said. “He was quick on his feet. Never said anything, that this is hurting, never a sign of struggle. That’s why it’s all very shocking.” She still struggles to recall the devastating day when she learned of Prince’s death, telling the newspaper: “That was definitely the worst day of my life. I couldn’t believe anything that painful could happen.” Hill remained somewhat coy when detailing the exact nature of her relationship with the singer. Asked if she was romantic with Prince, she would only reply: “There was a very intense relationship. I deeply cared for him.” She added that when they talked just days before his death, Prince “told me that he loved me and that he would always be there for me.”