Iman and David Bowie’s decades-long relationship came to a heartbreaking end January 10, when the British singer and actor succumbed to liver cancer at age 69 in New York City. 

“Iman is torn apart,” a source close to the couple says in the new issue of Us Weekly. But the Somalia-born supermodel, 60, is summoning her courage for 15-year-old Alexandria, the daughter she shares with Bowie. Adds the source, “Iman is staying strong for Lexi.”

Iman's resilience is one of the qualities Bowie admired in his wife. Stylist June Ambrose, a close Iman pal, tells Us, “What he loved most about Iman was how brave she is.”

The couple's quarter-century relationship, says another friend, “was a fairy-tale romance.” The glam rocker and the fashionista first met in 1990 when they were set up by their hairdressers. “That she would be my wife, in my head, was a done deal,” he confessed to U.K. magazine Hello! in 2000. “I’d never gone after anything with such passion in all my life.”

Iman took some persuading. “I did not want to get involved with a rock star. No way,” she later said. “But David changed my mind.” Romantic gestures — he once had her Paris hotel room filled with her favorite flowers, gardenias — won her over. “He swept her off her feet,” says an Iman pal.

They wed in 1992, but struggled for seven years to get pregnant. Finally, in August 2000, they welcomed Lexi. “She’s a gift from God,” Iman told Us in 2011.

The three lived a charmed life in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood until Bowie’s cancer diagnosis in 2014. “They were romantic until the end,” says a Bowie friend. “They made time for date nights. He would write her letters and poems. It was like they were still young lovers.”

Watch a video highlight of their love story now — and pick up the new issue of Us Weekly for much more.

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