Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Journalist Recalls Prince Visiting Him to ‘Gobble’ Pain Pills ‘Like They Were M&Ms’

Prince

*The late-great Prince is said to have had a pill addiction so bad that he once gobbled up a friend’s stash of prescribed opioids.

According to Page Six, in “This Thing Called Life,” author Neal Karlen recounts an injury he suffered in 1997 while Rollerblading and the conversation he had with Prince about the “unlimited” supply of Percocet pills he was prescribed for the pain from breaking several bones in his leg.

Karlen said Prince wanted to come over immediately, which “was not in character.

“He’d been to my apartment but not for a few years, and for him to schlep so far to pay a little sympathy call felt … meaningful,” Karlen recalls. 

Turns out Prince just wanted some painkillers, according to Karlen.

READ MORE: Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff Give Fans Tour of ‘Fresh Prince’ Mansion [VIDEO]

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“I didn’t even have time to offer him a glass of water before he spied the white Walgreen’s bottle of pills in my living room,” he writes.

“Prince gobbled a third of the bottle like they were M&Ms, and my heart sank. It was f—king true. I’d heard rumors for years that he’d been off and on heavy painkillers ever since the ‘Purple Rain’ tour a dozen years before,” he continued.

Prince reportedly carried on a conversation with the Minneapolis writer from 1985 until two weeks before his death.

On April 20, 2016, Prince died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl at age 57.

Elsewhere in the book, Karlen writes:

He would really begin to learn, or care, about other people and their needs starting around age 40. He gave away instruments and computers. He funded libraries and school lunches. He gave a million dollars a year to the Minneapolis Urban League. And he didn’t care that his philanthropic efforts, even though they dwarfed most celebrities’, were kept as quiet as if they were his most lethal secrets.

But eventually he tried. He hugged long-lost friends. He talked nostalgically once in a while. And it saved his life, long before an overdose of fentanyl took it. …

This Thing Called Life” is in bookstores now.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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