Affidavit: Doctor prescribed meds for Prince in another name

Prince plays guitar in Pasadena
Prince performs onstage during the 2007 NCLR ALMA Awards held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
Kevin Winter | Getty Images for NCLR 2007

Updated: 4:24 p.m. | Posted: 9:13 a.m.

Search warrants obtained by investigators provide new insight into Prince's death last April — including an admission by a Minnetonka doctor that he'd prescribed narcotics to Prince under the name of his bodyguard and friend to protect the music legend's privacy.

Carver County authorities on Monday posted 11 search warrant applications, warrants and receipts for what they found on a state court website.

Despite the new detail, the documents don't detail where Prince may have obtained the narcotic that killed him. Carver County authorities say Prince's death is still under investigation.

Prince, 57, was found dead April 21 at his Paisley Park studios and home in Chanhassen of what was ruled an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic drug 50 times more powerful than heroin.

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The search warrants show there were no records of prescriptions written for Prince in the state's database, although a man described as a Prince's "bodyguard and close personal friend," Kirk Johnson, had obtained an oxycodone prescription from a North Memorial Medical Clinic doctor "in Kirk Johnson's name for Prince's privacy."

That drug was not listed on the public report on Prince's postmortem examination.

The doctor, Michael Todd Schulenberg, is now listed as practicing at a Fairview clinic in New Brighton. The state Board of Medical Practice says his medical license is still current and does not list any discipline taken against him in connection with the Prince case or any other matters.

Late Monday afternoon, Schulenberg's attorney dispute the information in the court documents, saying the doctor "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."

Schulenberg has "disclosed all information regarding his care and treatment of Prince to his former employer, law enforcement authorities and regulatory authorities in the course of his complete cooperation with the investigation of Prince's death," his lawyer said in a statement.

Minnesota drug regulators say the practice is against state and federal law.

Cody Wiberg, executive director of the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy, says he can't address the Prince matter directly, but "at the most basic level, it's not legal for a prescriber to write a prescription for any drug, let alone a controlled substance, in some other person's name, with the intent that that person then will give it to another person."

Wiberg also says the law strictly limits what opiates can be used for. They can't be prescribed to prevent withdrawal or support someone's addiction, although the law does allow a prescriber to directly administer opioids to relieve acute withdrawal symptoms for up to three days. But that doesn't include a prescription.

Besides the oxycodone, a receipt from another search warrant also listed two CVS prescription bottles under Kirk Johnson's name for different drugs found at Paisley Park, including anti-nausea medication

"No, I don't talk about anything," Johnson said when reached by MPR News to inquire about the prescriptions and Prince's death.

Warrants describe a trove of drugs discovered at Paisley Park stored in vitamin bottles and other containers around the complex, including Prince's bedroom and wardrobe area.

The search warrant also gives a rare glimpse into the end of Prince's secretive life.

One warrant application, to Google, says that the music legend had had his cell phone hacked into and had "become leery of storing his information on the phone and stopped carrying a cell phone and began sending emails."

Investigators said he used several addresses, including one referring to an assistant, as well as mistag3@gmail.com, paisleyparkafterdark@gmail.com and peterbravestrong@gmail.com. Peter Bravestrong was a pseudonym Prince used while traveling, one warrant application says.

The Google warrant also says that singer Judith Hill told investigators that she and Prince "were involved in a romantic relationship since the fall of 2014," and that she communicated with him via landline and email.

The warrants also describe the scene at Paisley Park when Prince's death was discovered. Police found six people on the premises, including the North Memorial doctor that had previously prescribed the oxycodone for Prince's bodyguard.

Among them was Andrew Kornfeld, the son of well-known California addiction doctor Howard Kornfeld. Andrew Kornfeld said that he, Prince assistant Meron Bekure and Kirk Johnson went looking for Prince that morning, only to find him apparently dead in an elevator.

Andrew Kornfeld also said he'd brought buprenorphine and Ativan in his backpack, as well as an anti-nausea suppository. Some of them medications that he didn't have the authority to administer, he told investigators, according to the warrant.