Prince died one day before an emergency meeting with an addiction specialist, according to a report from The Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Minneapolis-based attorney William Mauzy told the newspaper that Dr. Howard Kornfeld had been contacted by a Prince representative on April 20 because he “was dealing with a grave medical emergency.” The move was apparently an attempt to help the ailing singer kick a rumored painkiller addiction. Dr. Kornfeld reportedly could not clear his schedule to fly to Minnesota until April 22, but sent his son Andrew Kornfeld instead.
Andrew Kornfeld was scheduled to meet with Prince early on April 21 after taking an overnight flight from California. “The plan was to quickly evaluate his health and devise a treatment plan,” Mauzy said. “… The doctor was planning on a lifesaving mission.” However, when he arrived at Prince’s Paisley Park home that morning, the singer’s staff could not locate Prince. This led to the eventual discovery of an unresponsive Prince in an elevator soon after. Mauzy later identified Andrew Kornfeld as the 911 caller who first reported Prince’s death to the police. Paramedics soon arrived at the estate, but were unable to resuscitate Prince, and he was declared dead at 10:07 a.m CT.
Prince’s staff ultimately hoped he would agree to travel to Dr. Kornfeld’s rehabilitation facility in Mill Valley, California to receive treatment for his addiction to prescription painkillers. The singer had an earlier medical issue regarding opioids; his plane had been forced to make an emergency landing the weekend preceding his death due to a painkiller overdose, according to the Star Tribune report. He was eventually brought to the hospital and given the anti-overdose drug Narcan, but left a short time later against the advice of his doctors.
Prince’s death has rocked the recording community and spawned numerous tributes, both on social media and in performance. His albums have occupied a number of the top spots on the Billboard charts ever since his death.
Complex has reached out to Dr. Kornfeld and William Mauzy for comment, and will update this story as more details become available.