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Scoop: Evidence indicates Prince was hiding opiate addiction

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Recently unsealed court documents reveal that Prince (pictured performing in Los Angeles in 2004) was hiding powerful opiates, and taking drugs that weren’t prescribed to him. (Richard Hartog/Los Angeles Times)
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Why are we not too surprised that officials found pills and drugs at Prince’s home that weren’t prescribed to the rock star? And that he apparently went to some lengths to hide the fact that he was using powerful painkillers?

CNN reports that bottles of narcotic painkillers — some prescribed to Prince’s former drummer and longtime friend Kirk Johnson — were found in Paisley Park, the estate outside Minneapolis where he was found dead of an accidental overdose of a powerful synthetic opioid last year.

On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported, officials in Carver County, Minn., unsealed search warrants that had been filed as part of their investigation into the death of Prince Rogers Nelson, who was found collapsed in an elevator on April 21, 2016.

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The newly unsealed records show that Prince’s associates told investigators that he had been struggling with opioid abuse and sometimes went through withdrawals. They also revealed that some of the pills in Prince’s house were in vitamin bottles, not prescription bottles.

Just before his death, Prince had sought help from Dr. Michael Schulenberg (who admitted he wrote an Oxycodone prescription for Prince under Johnson’s name for privacy) and a California-based addiction treatment expert, Howard Kornfeld, who sent his son, Andrew, to evaluate Prince.

Andrew Kornfeld was at the property with Johnson, Prince’s head of security, and Prince’s assistant, Meron Bekure, when the musician’s body was discovered.

TMZ also reported that Prince used an alias, “Peter Bravestrong,” and that authorities found a suitcase with that name that contained pill bottles and song lyrics to “U Got the Look.”

QUAKE ANNIVERSARY

There aren’t anymore survivors of San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake and fire, but that isn’t stopping some history buffs and local luminaries to mark the event’s 111th April 18 anniversary.

Press agent extraordinaire Lee Houskeeper sent out his annual announcement Monday, noting that S.F. Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White, former Mayor Willie Brown and San Francisco Chronicle’s Carl Nolte would be lunching at John’s Grill on April 17 to “honor the memory of historians Kevin Starr, Gladys Hansen and Philip Choy.”

It’s not clear who might be in attendance at 4:30 a.m. April 18, for the 110th annual”1906 San Francisco Great Earthquake and Fire Wreath-laying and Commemoration” at Lotta’s Fountain on Market Street for the official anniversary at 5:12 a.m.; the same goes for the “The Gilding of the Fire Hydrant That Saved the Mission District” from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. at 20th and Church streets.

ROYAL EMOTIONS

Prince William is calling for the end of his country’s famous “stiff upper lip” culture.

As Prince Harry shared his struggles about coping with their mother Princess Diana’s death, William said he’s going to ensure that his children George and Charlotte “grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions.”

The brothers’ candid interview was published in the charity magazine CALMzine as part of an effort to raise awareness about the stigma surrounding mental illness.

QUICK TAKES

Chefs who want to vie for the $1,000 top prize in the Redwing City Chicken Wing Competition — which is part of the Redwood City 150th Festival and Flower Extravaganza on May 20 — have until April 21 to enter; for details, visit www.redwoodcity.org.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Actress Chloe Bennet is 25. … Actress America Ferrera is 33. … TV personality Kourtney Kardashian is 38. … Actress Melissa Joan Hart is 41. … Actress Maria Bello is 50. … Actor Eric McCormack is 54. … Talk-show host Conan O’Brien is 54. … Actor Rick Moranis is 64. … Actor James Woods is 70.

— Staff, wire reports

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