Prince's Doctor Reportedly Wrote Him Opioid Prescriptions In Bodyguard's Name

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

Prince’s unexpected death last summer was determined an accidental overdose on the opioid fentanyl. Six days preceding his death, Prince overdosed on a plane, and had to be revived at a hospital following an emergency landing. Search warrants issued for Paisley Park, Prince’s Minnesota residence, have just been unsealed, revealing what seems to have been a complicated system intended to funnel narcotics to the beloved icon.


KARE 11 reports that the documents, which were made public Monday morning, show that CVS prescription bottles found in Prince’s home had the name of his longtime bodyguard, Kirk Johnson, on the label. Investigators had been unable to find the source of fentanyl for Prince after examining his toxicology report, but did discover prescriptions of Oxycodone written for Johnson and prescribed by Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg. The warrants also listed the pills discovered on the premises:

-15 white capsules (Watson 853) discovered in a second floor dressing room

-CVS pharmacy bottle under the name of Kirk Johnson/7 green capsules

-8 orange oval pills inside suitcase in mirror room/second floor

-Bayer bottle/64 white pills with Watson 853

-Aleve bottle with 20 ½ tablets labeled Watson 853

-Pamphlet for Recovery Without Walls (rehab center)

Watson 853 is an acetaminophen/hydrocodone painkiller hybrid. Other bottles mislabeled as “Vitamin D” were also filled with acetaminophen/hydrocodone pills, and more was found throughout the house:

Detectives also discovered Prince’s suitcase — which was the one found with several narcotics inside (in prescription pill bottles under Johnson’s name) — had the name tag of “Peter Bravestrong” — an alias name authorities believe Prince used when he traveled in an attempt to maintain his privacy.

Lyrics for the song, “U Got the Look,” were also found in that suitcase, written in Prince’s handwriting.


The New York Daily News reports that Dr. Schulenberg told authorities that he wrote prescriptions under Johnson’s name to protect Prince’s privacy. Johnson, who had worked for Prince since the late eighties, told investigators that he had no idea that Prince had a pill addiction, though the day before the artist’s death he went to a Walgreens to pick up a prescription for him. Johnson said it was the first time he’d been sent on such an errand.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Stop letting doctors give out prescriptions in other peoples names. This happens way to often.