Doc prescribed Prince meds under friend's name

Posted April 20, 2017

A year ago this week, the artist Prince was found dead at Paisley Park, his home, studio, and party space in the Minneapolis suburb of Chaska.

The documents don't reveal answers to that question, but do provide the most details yet seen on Prince's struggle with addiction to prescription opioids in the days before he died.

Other information included in the documents indicates that cops learned from Prince's associates that he never used a mobile phone and preferred to communicate via email.

Several bottles of opioid painkillers - some of them prescribed to one of Prince's friends - were found at the singer's Paisley Park complex shortly after the music icon's death by accidental overdose, court documents unsealed Monday, April 17, show. Almost 2 million Americans abused or were addicted to prescription opioids, including oxycodone, in 2014.

Just six days earlier, Prince fell ill on a plane and made an emergency stop in IL as he was returning home from a concert in Atlanta.

Schulenberg also told investigators that on April 15, he had prescribed Prince oxycodone, also in Johnson's name. 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.

The prescription was dated April 14, 2016, the same day Prince was revived with an anti-overdose drug after falling ill on a plane. Schulenberg has an active medical license and is now practicing family medicine in Minnesota.

A person convicted under the law could be stripped of the ability to prescribe controlled substances by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and face other discipline from the state medical board.

It is illegal for a doctor to write a prescription for someone under another person's name.

Two Los Angeles attorneys say it happens all the time in Hollywood. She represented a doctor who was acquitted of all charges, including false name allegations, in the death of Anna Nicole Smith, the Playboy model and reality TV star who died of an accidental overdose in 2007.

Investigators found pills in various containers around Prince's bedroom, some of them issued to Kirk Johnson, Prince's estate manager and longtime friend.

Some of the bottles were labeled Aleve and Bayer - common over-the-counter medications - but contained pills marked "Watson 853", the opioid painkiller acetaminophen-hydrocodone.

The day before Prince died, Paisley Park staffers contacted California addiction specialist Dr. Howard Kornfeld for help.

Prince did not have a cellphone and authorities searched multiple email accounts that they believed he was using, as they tried to determine how he got the drug that killed him, according to the search warrants.

The court papers state that officers believe "Peter Bravestrong" to be an alias of Prince, and also found papers with the lyrics to his 1987 track U Got The Look in the suitcase. Andrew Kornfeld was carrying buprenorphine, a medication that can be used to help treat opioid addiction. The search warrants do not reveal any findings of fentanyl, the powerful opioid that medical officials say killed Prince last April. The Kornfelds' attorney, William Mauzy, has said Andrew had meant to give the medication to a doctor who planned to see Prince on April 21. And, experts say, prosecutors and investigators don't want to lose a high-profile case such as Prince's - likely increasing their caution.