Sinéad O’Connor says Prince ‘tried to beat me up’ because she refused to stop swearing in interviews

Sinéad O’Connor recently made headlines after she apologized for calling white people “disgusting” in a controversial tweet last fall. Now the Irish singer, who goes by the name Shuhada' Davitt since converting to Islam last year, is sharing how her strong language got her into trouble with Prince.

O’Connor’s most famous song, the achingly beautiful 1990 breakup ballad, “Nothing Compares 2 U,” was written by Prince years earlier. Though it appeared on the eponymous 1985 album for funk band te Family, it wasn’t until O’Connor’s reworked cover was released that the song became a hit.

Sinéad O'Connor says Prince got violent with her. (Photos: Getty Images)
Sinéad O'Connor says Prince got violent with her. (Photos: Getty Images)

But, as O’Connor claimed in an interview on Monday with Good Morning Britain, she and the late pop star weren’t natural collaborators. In fact, she told hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid that the Purple Rain star got violent after confronting her about swearing in interviews.

“We did meet once but we didn’t get on very well,” the 52-year-old said of her relationship with Prince. “We tried to beat each other up. We didn’t get on too well, no.”

When questioned by Morgan, O’Connor added, “Well, it was more he tried to beat me up and I was defending myself.”

She went on to clarify that the incident was “not a joke.”

"It was a very frightening experience, actually,” she continued. “He summoned me to his house [in Los Angeles] one night and I foolishly went alone, not knowing where I was. He summoned me there because he was uncomfortable with the fact I wasn’t a protégé of his. I had just recorded the song and he was wanting me to be a protégé of his… and he ordered that I don’t swear anymore in my interviews.”

But O’Connor objected to his demand.

“Irish people swear all the time,” she said. “Of course, I told him where he could go… I did swear at him. And then he went for me, yeah.

“He went upstairs and got a pillow and he had something hard in the pillow. I ran out of his house, swear to God, I’m hiding behind a tree. He’s going this way in his car. We meet on the highway in Malibu at 5 o’clock in the morning. We’re running around his car, I’m spitting at him and he’s trying to punch me. He’s got this pillow that he’s trying to hit me with. We’re running around his car and I’m spitting across the car at him. Then I had to go ring someone’s doorbell — which my father always told me to do if I got in a situation like that.”

She added that Prince was “into some pretty dark drugs” at the time and speculated that she “got caught up somehow” in a legal battle between the singer and her manager, who also used to work with him. O’Connor went on to allege that Prince had also attacked “one of the girls in his band.”

It’s not the first time she has recounted the alleged incident with Prince. O’Connor spoke about a fight during an interview with a Norwegian broadcaster in 2014. And in 2016, shortly after Prince’s death that April from an accidental fentanyl overdose, she went on Facebook to accuse comedian and former talk show host Arsenio Hall of supplying him with drugs, calling him “Prince and Eddie Murphy’s b****.” Hall denied the claims as “false, ridiculous and absurd.”

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