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Prince Investigation: Warrants Detail Pills Found All Over Paisley Park

Some of the prescriptions were under the name of his close friend and bodyguard.
Image: Prince
Prince on July 3, 2011 in Paddock Wood, United Kingdom.Neil Lupin / Redferns

Search warrants from the investigation into Prince's overdose death were released on Monday, revealing that prescription medications were found all over his house — including some in the name of a confidant who claimed he didn't know the singer was addicted to pain pills.

The court documents detail investigators' efforts to obtain cellphone and Internet records after Prince was found dead April 21 at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota.

Prince performs during day 2 of the Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival held at the Empire Polo Field on April 26, 2008 in Indio, Calif.Kevin Winter / Getty Images, file

An autopsy determined he died of a fentanyl overdose, but the documents do not indicate if authorities have pinpointed the source of the killer dose of the synthetic opioid. No one has been charged with a crime in connection with Prince's death.

The warrants say that controlled substances were found in different parts of the Paisley Park complex, often in vitamin bottles. Some were in a suitcase labeled with a Prince alias, Peter Bravestrong, along with a page of handwritten lyrics to the 1987 hit "U Got the Look."

Several medications were prescribed to Prince under the name of Kirk Johnson, his longtime bodyguard, assistant and personal friend, the warrants show.

Prince's physician, Dr. Michael Schulenberg, issued a prescription for the pain killer oxycodone on April 16, 2016 — the same day that the singer's plane had to make a post-concert emergency landing when he "passed out" while aboard after taking pain pills.

Schulenberg told investigators he put it in Johnson's name "for Prince's privacy," one warrant says. An attorney for the doctor, however, said in a statement that he "never directly prescribed opioids to Prince, nor did he ever prescribe opioids to any other person with the intent that they would be given to Prince."

In the suitcase next to Prince's bed, detectives found at least two bottles with pills prescribed by Schulenberg under Johnson's name on April 7: the anti-nausea drug ondansetron hydrochloride in a Vitamin D bottle, and the painkiller Percocet in a bottle labeled ondansetron.

The day before Prince's death, Schulenberg prescribed three drugs for him: clonidine, which is used to treat high blood pressure and attention deficit disorder, and the anti-anxiety agents Valium and hydroxyzine pamoate. Johnson picked them up from the pharmacy and claimed it was the "first time he had ever done something like that for Prince."

Johnson told investigators he was "unaware Prince was addicted to pain medication." But a representative of the rehab Recovery Without Walls told detectives that Johnson had contacted them because the star was struggling with opiate use.

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Andrew Kornfeld, the son of the rehab's owner, was at Paisley Park when Prince's body was found. He admitted to detectives that he was carrying pills for which he did not have a prescription — chiefly buprenorphine, which is used to treat addiction — but said he would not have given them to Prince without a doctor's authorization.

The warrants sought access to Prince's computer as well as to cellphone records for any devices in use around Paisley Park immediately before and after the singer's death.

The detective noted that "interviews with those who were at Paisley Park the morning Prince was found deceased have provided inconsistent and, at times, contradictory statements."

An attorney for Johnson said in a statement that the documents unsealed Monday show "it is clear that Kirk Johnson did not secure nor supply the drugs which caused Prince's death," but did not address any of the other medications found.

Schulenberg's lawyer said he had fully cooperated with the investigation and is a "caring and responsible physician."

Among the other revelations in the warrants:

  • Prince stopped using a cellphone after being hacked, depending on email and a landline.
  • He was in a romantic relationship with singer-songwriter Judith Glory Hill from 2014 until his death.
  • He didn't have a regular doctor for most of his career; his team would arrange for a variety of doctors to give him B-12 shots before performances.