Investigators are allegedly focusing on the role that painkillers may have played both in Prince’s death at his Paisley Park residence and his medical emergency in Moline, Illinois.
On April 15, six days before his death, Prince Rogers Nelson went to a hospital in Moline, Illinois, as he was on his way home from concerts in Atlanta.
Michael Padden, attorney for two of Prince’s siblings, told The Star Tribune that several years ago, his clients had reportedly told him about "substantial" drug problems Prince had with cocaine and Percocet. According to Padden, Lorna Nelson and Duane Nelson, both of whom have since died, said they "were really concerned [drug problems] would end his life prematurely."
"Lorna told me that her brother would die young […] before his time and of a heart attack," Padden said.
However, several people who have worked directly with Prince disagree with these allegations.
L. Londell McMillan, Prince's longtime lawyer, said Prince was doing well during the last conversation he had with the acclaimed musician, and he was "not on any drugs that would be any cause for concern," according to the Associated Press.
"Everybody who knows Prince knows he wasn't walking around drugged up," McMillan said during the April 25 press conference. "That's foolish. No one ever saw Prince and said, 'He looks high.' It wasn't what he was about."
Former band member and close friend Sheila E. said she had “never seen him take anything, not even aspirin, in the 38 years I’ve known him,” despite Prince’s physically demanding live concerts, The Star Tribune notes.
Robbie Paster, Prince’s valet and personal assistant from 1984 to 1992, also denied the drug allegations.
"I never knew of any opiate or cocaine problem," Paster said. "There’s no way you can do both of those and be as driven as he was. I never saw it."
Padden said he developed a personal relationship with Lorna and Duane after being hired to file “four or five” lawsuits against Prince and Paisley Park. He said he didn’t think that his late clients were trying to mislead him.
"I guess anything’s possible, but all I can tell you is that his sister independently corroborated every single thing Duane said to me," he said. "It wasn’t like I was proactive seeking information."