Prince’s pal picked up prescriptions for a number of medications for the singer the day before he died, newly released documents show.
The Purple Rain singer died at his Paisley Park home in Minnesota from an accidental fentanyl overdose at the age of 57 on 21 April, 2016, and on Thursday (19Apr18), prosecutors investigating his death announced they would be filing no criminal charges and the case was closed.
They subsequently released all documents, photographs and videos relating to the investigation, and the evidence has shown that a number of prescriptions for Prince were picked up the day before he died.
According to The Blast, the prescriptions filled on 20 April, 2016, included Clonidine, which is used to treat withdrawal symptoms, and anti-anxiety drugs Diazepam and Hydroxyzine Pamoate.
A video released by investigators showed Prince’s assistant and bodyguard Kirk Johnson going to pick up prescriptions for the star from a local Walgreens pharmacy twice in the space of just 90 minutes that day. It is thought Prince was waiting outside during these times.
Images released from his home show a variety of pill bottles scattered around the property. In one picture, it is evident that Prince received Ondansetron, used to prevent nausea and vomiting, and medications to treat vitamin D deficiency under Johnson’s name, and also had a large supply of diet supplements.
On the day before he died, the music icon was also caught on surveillance cameras looking frail as he visited Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg with Johnson. During the visit to the clinic, he reportedly told the medic he was feeling “antsy” and questioned whether he was suffering side effects as he stopped taking painkiller Tylenol earlier that day. According to Dailymail.com, he undertook a urine test which showed there were opiates in his system, and the doctor suggested he could be suffering from a opiate withdrawal.
Text messages between Johnson and Schulenberg on 7 April also show that his longtime pal was concerned for his health and wanted to him to see a doctor.
In an interview with investigators Johnson said he didn’t realise Prince had an opioid addiction until he passed out on a plane a week before he died.
“It started to all make sense though, just his behaviour sometimes and change of mood, and I’m like, oh this is what, I think this is what’s going on,” he said. “That’s why I took the initiative and said let’s go to my doctor because you haven’t been to the doctor, let’s check it all out.”
On Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Dr. Schulenberg had agreed to pay a $30,000 (£21,000) settlement for potentially breaching federal laws by writing a oxycodone prescription in Johnson’s name although it was intended to go to Prince.