Just shy of two years after Prince‘s death, US authorities have announced no one will face charges relating to the legendary artist’s death after taking counterfeit painkillers.
“The bottom line is we simply do not have enough evidence to charge anyone with a crime regarding Prince’s death,” Carver County Attorney Mark Metz said in a press conference.
Prince died on April 21, 2016 in his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota after taking the Vicodin painkillers. As far as we can tell, he was unaware they were laced with fentanyl, a powerful opioid that is about 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine.
“In all likelihood, Prince had no idea he was taking a counterfeit pill that could kill him,” said Metz.
Evidence suggests Prince, 57, was taking the pills to manage pain from performance-related injuries, though he neither had a prescription for Vicodin or fentanyl. Authorities have no evidence as to how he acquired the pills.
Prince’s doctor, Michael Schulenberg, is facing a separate $30,000 settlement with the US Attorney’s office, however. It relates to a prescription for painkiller Percocet given the week before Prince’s death. As it was prescribed to Prince’s bodyguard to protect the star’s privacy, it is a prescription written for a fake name, a violation of the Controlled Substances Act.
The Attorney Office clarified Schulenberg isn’t part of any criminal investigation.
Ahead of the two-year-anniversary of Prince’s death this weekend, the usually tight-lipped Prince estate has released never-before-seen footage of the star rehearsing ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ in 1984.
The original studio recording has also been released: listen and watch greatness in action below.
Image: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images