Prince was aware he had a problem with pain medication and was open to treatment, The New York Times reports.
Just days before his death, representatives for the late singer had reached out to Dr. Howard Kornfeld, who runs Recovery Without Walls treatment center in California and specializes in helping people addicted to opioids. Kornfeld sent his son to meet with Prince, but help arrived too late.
"Many of Prince's closest friends, relatives and associates have declined to answer questions about his health," reports the Times. "So it is unclear who contacted Dr. Kornfeld, but a person with knowledge of the situation said the musician had willingly sought treatment."
Liu Heung Shing / AP
But Prince's desire to have absolute privacy may have contributed to him not getting help in time.
"Unlike many stars of his magnitude, who are known to employ extensive entourages and teams of staffers to handle everyday business, Prince was also surprisingly autonomous, friends and associates said, often driving himself around and making appointments without the knowledge of his assistant," states the NYT. "Such insistence on maintaining his independence may have made keeping a secret easier, they said."
However, those in his inner circle had some clue that the late singer wasn't feeling his best. "Concerned friends said they had recently been discussing Prince's emotional state," reports the paper. "He had told some people that he was feeling depressed, and some suspected he was going through a period of professional stagnancy."
Whether or not he was feeling stalled musically, the lucrative offers were still rolling in. Prince reportedly said no to an $85 million offer to do a world tour so that he could stick to his preferred smaller-scale shows.
Prince's tour coordinator Kim Worsoe, recalled the singer telling him: "I don't do tours, I do events."
Still, others close to him insist they didn't notice anything was wrong. Friend and dancer Damaris Lewis told the Times that Prince's small concerts were a sign that he had found peace with himself. Lewis said: "His fans were his family."