Doctor prescribed meds for Prince in another name

Posted April 18, 2017

ET obtained court documents on Monday in the death investigation of the singer, and the results of the search warrant shows that bottles of opioid painkillers were found throughout Prince's Paisley Park compound in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Prince admitted that he had taken painkillers, according to search warrants.

Some of the pills seized at Prince's home were mislabeled as hydrocodone when they were really the opioid fentanyl, the strongest painkiller on the market.

It's been almost a year since Prince died from an accidental drug overdose at his suburban Minneapolis estate, yet investigators still haven't interviewed a key associate or asked a grand jury to consider whether criminal charges are warranted, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation.

They do not say where Prince got the fentanyl that killed him.

Before his death, Prince abused opioid pain pills, suffered withdrawal symptoms and received at least one opioid prescription under his bodyguard's name, according to search warrants and affidavits unsealed Monday. A day before Prince's death, on April 20, Johnson picked up the prescriptions under his name; he told county investigators that "this was the first time he had ever done something like that for Prince". Schulenberg had "put the prescription in Kirk Johnson's name for Prince's privacy".

In one affidavit, a doctor admits to prescribing Prince the opioid oxycodone on April 14, just a week before Prince's death, but the prescription was made in the name of Prince's friend for "privacy".

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Prescription opioids did not cause the death of Prince.

Information in the warrants also revealed that investigators found a suitcase containing several prescription bottles in the name of Johnson, who told investigators previous year that the singer had been struggling with opiate use.

Schulenberg's lawyer, Amy Conners, disputed that. Johnson was Prince's bodyguard.

The documents show Prince was struggling with an addiction to prescription opioids. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. Authorities later said he died of an overdose of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic drug. The suitcase also contained lyrics for the song "U Got the Look" that appeared to be in Prince's handwriting. The day before Prince died, Paisley Park staffers contacted the California addiction specialist as they were trying to get Prince help. Kornfeld sent his son, Andrew, to Minnesota that night, and the younger Kornfeld was among those who found Prince's body.

Joe Tamburino is not associated with the Prince case. Andrew Kornfeld told investigators that without his father's knowledge he brought a drug used to help with opioid addiction treatment, though it was never administered. The detective wrote that Prince didn't have a regular doctor, and instead saw various doctors arranged by his managers who would give him B12 injections before performances. The official who spoke to the AP said the case has taken investigators to IL and California, as authorities have interviewed friends, family and any potential witnesses, including the flight crew and hospital staff that were present when Prince overdosed on the plane.

AP Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson contributed to this story from Chicago.