The investigation into the accidental drug overdose of Prince Rogers Nelson has taken a shocking turn. A bottle of pills labeled as hydrocodone that was found at Paisley Park at the time of Prince’s death has now turned out to be the dangerous opioid, fentanyl, according to a confidential source who spoke to the late musician’s hometown paper, the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
What is most shocking is that the amount of fentanyl found in the autopsy results was so great that no person of any size or weight could have survived such a massive dosage of the powerful opioid that was found in his system. How did Prince get this dangerous drug, and why was his bottle of pills so mislabeled? Most of all, did Prince know that he was taking a counterfeit drug that was 100 times more powerful than morphine?
The unnamed source claimed that many pills were found in Prince’s dressing room, in his suitcase, in a vitamin C bottle, in an Aleve bottle, and in a prescription bottle. Investigators tested a pill that was incorrectly stamped “Watson 385.” Instead of being hydrocodone as the stamp marking indicated, the pills were actually fentanyl. Hydrocodone is commonly prescribed to patients for dental or physical pain, such as back or hip pain. In addition, the bottle was not under Prince’s name. The source did not identify whose name was listed on the prescription bottle. The investigators are testing more of the pills to identify what they each contain. It is no surprise that investigators are searching for the source of these fatal pills.
It has been four months since the accidental overdose death of Prince and with the exception of the cause of his death, little else is known. As the Inquisitir previously reported, the musician was found dead in an elevator on the morning of April 21 at his Paisley Park compound, which is located right outside of Minneapolis. By the time paramedics arrived, rigor mortis had already set in, and the paramedics were unable to revive him as he was clearly dead. Prince was wearing black pants and a black shirt. His weight was down to 112 pounds.
Before the autopsy was released, there were strong suspicions that Prince was taking painkillers because of hip pain due to years of dancing and jumping off of tall risers during his energetic performances. He later had hip surgery, but after a short time, it was clear he needed a more extensive operation that required a possible blood transfusion. As Prince was Jehovah’s Witness, his religion did not believe in blood transfusions, so he took medications to manage his excruciating pain.
When the autopsy was released that Prince had died of a drug overdose, his close friends were in shock. Prince had a reputation for being clean. He was never into drugs nor drinking. He was a long-time vegetarian who stocked over 20 different types of mustards in his refrigerator. Everyone said he was not a drug addict.
Before the autopsy results were released, his friend and sometime lawyer, L. Londell McMillan, came to his defense and insisted that Prince did not have any sort of substance abuse problem.
“Everybody who knows Prince knows he wasn’t walking around drugged up.”
It is clear that the investigation does not appear to be ending anytime soon. It is possible that Prince did not know that he was taking a counterfeit drug more powerful than morphine, and this fact alone could lead investigators to continue investigating in many directions. Could someone have tried to harm the musician? Were these pills accidentally mixed in or were they purposely used to replace the medication that he believed to be hydrocodone? For one year prior to his death, no prescriptions were written for him by any doctor, yet he actively saw at least one physician. Was this physician helping him with his addiction, or was this doctor the source of the fentanyl?
In addition to the ongoing investigation into his accidental overdose death, there is upheaval in settling who inherits Prince’s vast estate, which is valued somewhere between $100 million and $300 million. No will has been found, despite one filmmaker who insisted that Prince had a will and claimed it was hidden in Canada. In addition, there are many people who claim to be related and believe that they should inherit some of Prince’s great wealth. Besides Paisley Park, Prince owned many properties, and he had a famous vault of unreleased material. Even after his death, his estate continues to earn a substantial income from music sales. Since his passing, sales of the Purple Rain star have skyrocketed to the point that Prince broke the Beatles’ Billboard chart record.
Do you think Prince knew that he was taking fentanyl? Do you have a theory as to what happened to this beloved musician?
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]