A doctor prescribed Prince a dangerous painkiller under a different name for 'privacy'

Associated Press
prince singer

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MINNEAPOLIS — A court document says a doctor prescribed oxycodone for Prince under the name of the musician's friend to protect his privacy.

Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park home on April 21.

Autopsy results showed he died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic drug 50 times more powerful than heroin.

According to search warrants unsealed Monday, authorities searched Paisley Park, cellphone records of Prince's associates, and Prince's emails to try to determine where he got the fentanyl that killed him.

The documents suggest Prince was struggling with prescription opioid addiction.

One affidavit says Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg admitted he prescribed oxycodone for Prince in a Prince's associate's name "for Prince's privacy."

Oxycodone, which is in the opioid family, is a strong painkiller and controlled substance, with a dangerous potential for abuse and addiction.

A message left with Schulenberg's attorney wasn't immediately returned.

Associates of Prince have said that the artist was in constant pain near the end of his life from years of performing, which may have been the initial reason for opioid use. They've also said there was an attempt to get Prince into rehab before he died.

It's been nearly 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.

Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park home on April 21. Authorities later said he died of an overdose of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic drug. They still don't know the origin of those drugs and there has been no indication that they are poised to hold anyone responsible anytime soon.

On Monday, search warrants executed by local authorities are due to be unsealed, likely including one from the first search of Paisley Park.

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