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Painkiller Addiction Specialist Rushed to See Prince Before Death

Messages left by fans outside Prince's Paisley Park compound in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 21, 2016
AFP/Mark Ralston

New York (AFP) – A specialist in painkiller addiction was rushing to see Prince before the music legend’s death but arrived too late, a lawyer for the doctor said Wednesday.

Howard Kornfeld, a California-based doctor who treats those with addictions to opioids, had been due to arrive at Prince’s Minnesota compound on April 22, a day after the pop star died, his lawyer William Mauzy said.

“Dr Kornfeld felt that his mission was a life-saving mission. He certainly felt it to be urgent,” Mauzy told reporters in Minneapolis.

Instead, the doctor’s son Andrew Kornfeld — who planned to encourage Prince to come to California for treatment — arrived moments before the pop superstar was declared dead and called 911 for emergency services, Mauzy said.

The account of the lawyer, who was confirming a report in the Star Tribune newspaper of Minneapolis, is the largest signal yet that painkillers may have played a role in Prince’s death.

The “Purple Rain” star, who was 57, had appeared vigorous at recent concerts. An autopsy was conducted before his cremation, with investigators yet to determine a cause of death.


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