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Prince Was Going to Meet With an Addiction Expert the Day After His Death

By May Wilkerson 05/06/16

A new report says that Dr. Howard Kornfeld sent his son to Prince's house with a "small amount" of buprenorphine before his death.

Prince Was Going to Meet With an Addiction Expert the Day After His Death
Photo via North Foto/

The late, great Prince had been scheduled to meet with an addiction doctor the day after his death, AP reports. Although Prince’s autopsy results have not yet been released, this reinforces rumors that the singer was struggling with an addiction to prescription painkillers and died from an overdose.

The day before his death, Prince's representatives scheduled the singer an appointment with Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a prominent California doctor who specializes in opioid addiction treatment, according to Kornfeld's lawyer, William Mauzy. The appointment was booked for April 22, the day after Prince's death. The doctor couldn't make it soon enough so he sent his son, Andrew Kornfeld, who flew out that night from California to Prince’s home outside Minneapolis, Minnesota. The next morning, he found the singer unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park studio complex, said Mauzy. 

Andrew Kornfeld’s plan was to get Prince "stabilized in Minnesota and convince him to come to Recovery Without Walls in Mill Valley," Howard Kornfeld's California treatment center. Mauzy said that the younger Kornfeld, who is not a doctor, was carrying with him a “small amount” of buprenorphine, which is used to help wean users off of opiates. The day after Prince's death, Kornfeld was taken into custody in Minnesota and told it was a criminal investigation. But he was soon released and returned to San Francisco.

As of Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration have joined local officials in the investigation, according to AP. They will be looking into whether Prince died from an overdose, and also whether he had overdosed when his plane made an emergency landing in Illinois a week before he died.

The latest development came Thursday, when local Minneapolis outlets reported that Percocet was found in his system, citing sources close to the investigation. But the medical examiner's office that performed the autopsy declined to confirm the report, and it may be weeks before the autopsy results, including a toxicology report, are released to the public.

Some speculate that the singer had used hard drugs, like cocaine, and a man claiming to be his ex-drug dealer said he was "majorly addicted" to opiates—but Prince generally had a reputation for clean living. According to his close friend and ex-fiancée, singer Sheila E., the musician had suffered pain for a long time as a result of years of dancing and performing in his signature high-heeled boots. “He was in pain all the time, but he was a performer,” she told Good Morning America in April.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.

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