Dallas Austin is paying tribute to late ex-girlfriend Kim Porter by revealing that his relationship with the model inspired the young love depicted by Nick Cannon and Zoe Saldana in the movie Drumline.
The music producer – who has also worked on records with Madonna, TLC and Boyz II Men – grew up with Porter in Georgia and pitched the idea for the 2002 film based on his life. Following Porter’s death on Nov. 15, Austin, 47, shared a photo of their “famous prom pic” on Instagram with a caption explaining how his relationship with her also played a role.
“This is the hardest post I’ve ever had to do…my mom and Kim’s mom was pregnant with us at the same time in Columbus …I have never known a life without Kim Porter from kindergarten through all of our life long experiences in high school, having matching BMWs or her being the biggest believer in me making it as a producer and us getting out of Columbus to be somebody ..and we made it!!” he wrote.
“We were inseparable I feel like a part of my soul has been taken away ..most people don’t know that Zoe Saldana played the role of Kim in ‘drumline’ as nick cannon played my character ..we saw Purple Rain 15times in the theater and if you knew her you knew a strong beautiful smiling gangster angel !” he continued. “I know GOD is perfect but sometimes even perfect can make a mistake. I send prayers out to the kids and our family and my brother @diddy this is a hard one but we will get though it love you @ladykp.”
In Drumline, Cannon plays a young New York drummer named Devon Miles who sets out to attend the fictitious Atlanta A&T University, a school that takes great pride in their band. While there, he meets and falls in love with an upperclassman dancer named Laila (played by Saldana).
Austin said he approached Fox Studios with the idea about making a movie based on his experiences in high school marching band.
“They were like, ‘What’s so interesting about it?’” Austin said in an interview with MTV News in 2002. “So I filmed one of the competitions at the Georgia Dome and brought it back and was like, ‘See, they play Top 40 and hip-hop.’ They were like, ‘Wow!’ They’d never seen it before. So I incorporated the story of my life about a kid in band who couldn’t read music but could play real good… They were like, ‘Can we make it in college?’ I’m like, ‘It’s bigger in college, are you kidding?’”
RELATED VIDEO: Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Lays Ex-Girlfriend Kim Porter to Rest in Her Georgia Hometown
Austin, who shares 21-year-old son Tron with TLC’s Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas, attended Porter’s funeral held in Columbus on Saturday, according to TMZ. Porter’s ex-boyfriend and father of her children, Sean “Diddy” Combs, organized the arrangements for the ceremony and Mary J. Blige, Kimora Lee Simmons and actress Tichina Arnold also attended.
Shortly before Porter’s funeral began on Saturday, Combs honored her with an emotional note.
“Today we lay to rest our ANGEL,” he wrote on Twitter. “Her spirit lives on with us FOREVER!!! We thank you all for your prayers and support. You have no idea how much it means to us. We thank GOD for all of you.”
The couple, who began dating in the ’90s, had three children together throughout their on-and-off-again relationship: son Christian, 20, and 11-year-old twin daughters D’Lila Star and Jessie James. Additionally, Combs raised Porter’s eldest child Quincy, 27, and considers him a son.
Porter and Combs broke up in 1999 and battled in court over child support for Christian; Combs also dated Jennifer Lopez for two years before he and Porter reconciled in 2003. They split for the final time in 2007.
Combs is also the father of two additional children — son Justin, 24, and daughter Chance, 12 — whom he shares with exes Misa Hylton-Brim and Sarah Chapman, respectively.
RELATED: Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Mourns Ex-Girlfriend Kim Porter as He Sits by Her Gravesite at Cemetery
In a statement released to the Associated Press on Friday, Porter’s family remembered her as “a loving mother and devoted friend.”
“God broke the mold when he made Kim, there was truly no other woman like her. Although her time here on earth was far too short, she lived a life full of purpose and meaning. She was a loving mother and devoted friend. She was the epitome of kindness and grace. There wasn’t a person she met [whose] soul she did not touch. Kim was the type of woman who changed lives for the better,” the Porter, Goodwin and Combs families said. “She will be forever remembered and missed by so many. As her family, we promise to honor her every day of our lives. We love you always.”
RELATED: Beyoncé Posts Touching Tributes During Kim Porter’s Funeral: ‘Heaven Couldn’t Wait For You’
Porter was found dead in her home on Nov. 15 at the age of 47. As of Monday, her cause of death remained unknown following the completion of an autopsy.
On Nov. 15, officers were alerted after a woman was found unresponsive in Toluca Lake, California. She was declared dead at 11:40 a.m. local time. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Porter’s death in a statement.
According to an emergency dispatch call posted by TMZ, the call came in as a cardiac arrest. While it’s still not clear what caused Porter’s death, a source told the outlet she had been suffering from pneumonia for weeks.
A rep for Combs confirmed Porter’s death to PEOPLE at the time, saying, “Sadly, I can confirm the passing of Kim Porter. I ask that you give the families privacy at this time.”
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