Documents highlight Prince's struggle with opioid addiction

Search warrants unsealed Monday by investigators looking into Prince's overdose death almost a year ago said that Dr. Michael Schulenberg prescribed opioids to Prince but put them in the name of Prince confidante Kirk Johnson.

The documents, which included affidavits and search warrants, were unsealed in Carver County District Court on Monday.

Prince Rogers Nelson died April 21, 2016 of an accidental drug overdose at his Paisley Park studios in Chanhassen, where fans will gather for "Celebration 2017", four days of live music, panel discussions and special presentations highlighting Prince's talent, influence and importance as a composer, musician, producer, live performer and filmmaker. According to the Midwest Medical Examiner, Prince died of an accidental, self-administered dose of fentanyl. They say it's a complex thing to track illegally obtained pills, and investigators and prosecutors want to build strong cases before interviewing witnesses who might provide useful information.

Most tragic of all, among the items retrieved from Paisley Park during the investigation were a pamphlet for a rehab center, Recovery Without Walls, and a suitcase containing pill bottles and the lyrics for Prince's song "U Got The Look". They've also searched cellphone records, medical records and computers.

Another affidavit indicated that some pull containers were labeled with the name "Peter Bravestrong", an alias that Prince would use when he was traveling.

No one has been charged in connection with his death, but authorities say the investigation is still open and active. Schulenberg had prescribed those on April 7.

First, there's the matter of newly unsealed court documents, which reveal that a doctor confessed to prescribing the artist opioids under a false name.

Just six days before he died, Prince fell ill on a plane and made an emergency stop in IL as he returned from a gig in Atlanta.

Dr. Schulenberg has been and remains committed to providing full transparency regarding his practice as it relates to the Prince investigation. Schulenberg was named in previous warrants and was present when Prince's body was discovered.

Search warrants executed by local authorities, likely including one from the first search of Paisley Park, are due to be unsealed Monday. But there was a prescription for the opioid painkiller oxycodone written for Kirk Johnson, Prince's bodyguard. However, the medications were not prescribed to the musician under his own name. His attorney, Amy Conners, told the AP last week that there are no restrictions on his license. Johnson stated that he had no idea that Prince was addicted to the medication, while the prescribing physician, Dr. Michael Schulenberg, said he placed it in Johnson's for privacy reasons. The Kornfelds' attorney, William Mauzy, has said Andrew had meant to give the medication to a doctor. Investigators noted, however, that given the close relationship between Prince and Johnson, it's hard to believe that Johnson didn't know about his friend's addictions.

  • Salvatore Jensen