The world was devastated when Michael Jackson passed away in June of 2009. What upset his fans and loved ones, even more, is that his death was linked to an overdose of Propofol, that was administered by Jackson’s personal assistant Dr. Conrad Murray. Nearly seven years later, it appears that history is repeating itself with Prince’s untimely death.
Prince was found unresponsive in the elevator of his home, at Paisley Park the morning of April 21, 2016. He was pronounced dead a few hours later. His death was a shock to everyone, due to his healthy lifestyle. Despite the wild and overtly sexual themes of his early songs, in his later years, Prince did not smoke, drink, he followed a vegan diet and he did not even say derogatory words. However, the legendary singer/songwriter’s sudden demise has caused speculation into the cause of his death. Like Michael Jackson, one theory that seems to be nearly universal is that the abuse of prescription drugs is the culprit.
According to Shelia E., Prince’s protege and former fiancé, Prince physically suffered in pain for years, due to his high energy performances while wearing high heeled shoes. “[An entire year of jumping off those high risers with heels on] would’ve messed up his knees, and with him doing the splits…you know, he was in pain all the time,” she says, “But he was a performer. No one, not even him would’ve known that that would bother him years later.” Prince suffered a hip injury for many years, and it is now being reported that he was a long time user of the drug Percocet, to help him with the pain.
Reports are now being released stating that Prince was seeking help for opioid addiction from Dr. Howard Kornfield, an addiction specialist based in California. Prince’s representatives set up a meeting between the two men and it was Kornfield’s son, Andrew Kornfield, that found Prince in his elevator at Paisley Park. The younger Kornfield, who is a pre-med student, carried buprenorphine with him, which is a drug to help fight opioid addiction. A local doctor was also supposed to accompany them, according to Dr. Kornfield’s attorney Mr. William Mauzy. Dr. Stuart Gitlow, another addiction expert, has since stated that although, he did not treat Prince personally, he disagrees with the Kornfield’s methods. “If a physician feels that a patient is having an emergency, his obligation is to call an ambulance and get the patient to emergency personnel who can assess the situation—not to fly to the patient,” Gitlow said.
Local police, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and now, the Drug Enforcement Administration have started officially investigating if there was any wrongdoing involving the prescription medicine. According to one DEA official, “[if a doctor has violated federal rules for prescribing drugs], it is punishable, it’s a federal crime…right now, it’s an open investigation.” One person that believes illegal activity was involved is Irish singer Sinead O’Connor. She took to Facebook on May 2, not to out any doctors or personnel, but to state that Arsenio Hall supplied Prince with drugs for years. It is unknown if the DEA or U.S. Attorney’s Office is looking into Hall, but O’Connor has since, had a lawsuit filed against her for committing libel against the former talk show host.
The results of Prince’s autopsy will not be available for another four weeks, and authorities have yet to officially announce a cause of death. The Kornfields have not released any statements to the press.
By Nadiya Edwards
Edited by Jeanette Smith
ABC News: Prince: Feds Join the Investigation Into His
ABC News: Attorney: Prince Arranged to Meet Addiction Doctor
Rolling Stone: Sinead O’Connor to Arsenio Hall: ‘Suck My D–k’
CNN: Conrad Murray Completes Jail Time for Killing Michael Jackson
Entertainment Tonight: Exclusive: Sheila E. Addresses Rumors on Prince’s Injuries and Drug Use: ‘He Was Always In Pain’
Image Courtesy of Joe Goldberg’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License