Prince has lived in Los Angeles since last spring — that is, if you consider the rarefied gated nouveau complex of Beverly Park to be part of the real L.A. Writer Claire Hoffman visited the musician and Jehovah's Witness at home for The New Yorker and they got to talking about Hollywood, the Bible and gay marriage.
Inside, the place was done up in a generic Mediterranean style, although there were personal flourishes here and there—a Lucite grand piano with a gold-colored “Artist Formerly Known as Prince” symbol suspended over it, purple paisley pillows on a couch. Candles scented the air, and New Age music played in the living room, where a TV screen showed images of bearded men playing flutes. Prince padded into the kitchen, a small fifty-year-old man in yoga pants and a big sweater, wearing platform flip-flops over white socks, like a geisha....
Limping slightly, Prince set off on a walk around his new bachelor pad. Glass doors opened onto acres of back yard, and a hot tub bubbled in the sunlight. “I have a lot of parties,” he explained. In the living room, he’d installed purple thrones on either side of a fireplace, and, nearby, along a hallway, he had hung photographs of himself, in a Moroccan villa, in various states of undress. At the end of the hall, a gauzy curtain fluttered in a doorway. “My room,” he said. “It’s private.”
Seven years ago, he became a Jehovah’s Witness. He said that he had moved to L.A. so that he could understand the hearts and minds of the music moguls. “I wanted to be around people, connected to people, for work,” he said. “You know, it’s all about religion. That’s what unites people here. They all have the same religion, so I wanted to sit down with them, to understand the way they see things, how they read Scripture."
Recently, Prince hosted an executive who works for Philip Anschutz, the Christian businessman whose company owns the Staples Center. “We started talking red and blue,” Prince said. “People with money—money like that—are not affected by the stock market, and they’re not freaking out over anything. They’re just watching. So here’s how it is: you’ve got the Republicans, and basically they want to live according to this.” He pointed to a Bible. “But there’s the problem of interpretation, and you’ve got some churches, some people, basically doing things and saying it comes from here, but it doesn’t. And then on the opposite end of the spectrum you’ve got blue, you’ve got the Democrats, and they’re, like, ‘You can do whatever you want.’ Gay marriage, whatever. But neither of them is right.”
When asked about his perspective on social issues—gay marriage, abortion—Prince tapped his Bible and said, “God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, ‘Enough.’ ”