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Prince Death Investigation Focusing on Drug Use, Percocet Problem (Report)

Former attorney for singer’s siblings claims Prince had ”substantial“ drug problems with the opioid painkiller and cocaine

The investigation into Prince’s death is reportedly focusing on the role that drugs may have played in both his death and his medical emergency the week before.

The Star Tribune in Minneapolis reported Monday night that a longtime attorney for two of Prince’s siblings has told authorities that his clients told him over a decade ago that Prince had “substantial” drug problems, specifically with the opioid painkiller Percocet and cocaine.

Attorney Michael Padden said that Lorna Nelson and Duane Nelson often discussed the “Purple Rain” singer’s drug issues with him, adding that “both were really concerned it would end his life prematurely,” the Tribune reported.

Padden said Duane Nelson told him that he paid straw buyers to obtain prescriptions that he then gave to Prince.

However, neither of these witnesses are still living to corroborate the story, because Lorna died in 2006 and Duane in 2011.

“Lorna told me that her brother would die young … before his time and of a heart attack,” Padden told the Star Tribune in a videotaped interview.

However, despite increased speculation over his narcotics use, a Twin Cities limo driver named Robbie Paster, who saw Prince every day in his role as valet and personal assistant from 1984 to 1992, told the Tribune that he never saw any sign of drugs. “I never knew of any opiate or cocaine problem. There’s no way you can do both of those and be as driven as he was. I never saw it,” he said.

While the results of Prince’s autopsy have not yet been released, nor has an official cause of death — which may take days or weeks depending on the type of testing. TMZ reported that the legendary musician was hospitalized after overdosing on Percocet the week before his death. The singer was reportedly administered a “save shot” at a hospital in Moline, Illinois, after his private plane was forced to make an emergency landing. The treatment is frequently used to mitigate the effects of opiates.

Prince’s life and his music were celebrated in a private memorial service in Minnesota on Saturday shortly after his remains were cremated.