After the closure of the criminal investigation into Prince‘s 2016 overdose death this week, the Carver County Sheriff’s Office released over 15 GB of data pertaining to the investigation under Minnesota’s Government Data Practices Act. The cache contains photos from the inside of Prince’s famous Paisley Park vault, security footage, and police interviews with those who knew him. Included is a strange and shocking interview with Sinead O’Connor, which was conducted on May 2, 2016, about two weeks after Prince’s death.
O’Connor claimed in the interview that Prince used drugs regularly and was violent with women who were close to him. She also made bizarre allegations, such as that the late musical legend was “into some devil worship” and that he could “have shit flying around the room…from one end of the room to another.”
The Irish singer-songwriter, who famously covered Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” in 1990, said in a segment of the interview published by The Blast that Prince used “hard drugs commonly.” “I know this because I spent time with the man,” she said. She added that Prince once told her that his decision not to release the Black Album in 1987 had to do with the fact that he was using drugs while making it.
“I never saw him actually take them,” she continued. “He would return to another room to take whatever the drugs were, and when he would come out of the room he would be very violent, very aggressive. His eyeballs would disappear, literally, from his eyes. They vanished.”
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At another point, O’Connor told the interviewer that “Arsenio Hall is a person you should speak to. That is a person who would go and get things for Prince.” Shortly after Prince’s death, O’Connor also made a public Facebook post suggesting that Hall provided Prince with drugs, prompting Hall to file a $5 million defamation lawsuit against her. Hall later dropped the suit after O’Connor apologized and retracted her statement about him.
In the police interview, O’Connor also seemed to accuse Prince of violence toward Wendy Melvoin, who played guitar in his backing band the Revolution. “He had two women in the band, Wendy and Lisa,” she said. “Wendy was in the hospital for six weeks after he beat the shit out of her.” In a different clip, published by TMZ, O’Connor said that Prince “tried to beat the shit out of me…I managed to escape his house. He had me locked in the house, ready to beat the shit out of me, because he had gone upstairs and taken some kind of weird drug. When he came back down, he was very violent, and the eyeballs are disappearing, and I’m scared shitless.”
O’Connor discussed “devil worship” at the end of the clip published by The Blast:
“There are other women. I suggest you track them down to discuss the drugs. They will also know. These are girlfriends. I’ve lost contact with these women myself, but over the years I’ve been speaking, and they’re telling me that Prince was a guy who was into some devil worship. I know this sounds mental, but it’s not, because there are people who are into it. I’ve been in his house. I know what he was into. He was into some devil business. These girls who he’s gone out with not only stated he was violent, but the man was able to have shit flying around the room…That man could make something fly from one end of the room to the other, alright? It’s not just drugs he’s into, it’s darkness, is what I’m trying to tell you.”
On May 15, shortly after the Carver County Sheriff’s Office interview, O’Connor was listed as a missing/endangered person after she did not return from a bicycle ride she’d taken in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette, where she was staying at the time, and a caller to the police expressed concern for her well being. O’Connor was reported found a day later.
Last year, she published a Facebook video and subsequently appeared on the Dr. Phil show discussing her struggles with an unspecified mental health issue. “Mental illness is a bit like drugs. It doesn’t give a shit who you are,” she said in the Facebook video. When Dr. Phil later asked if she considered herself mentally ill, she said “I don’t believe I am, no, unless you say that complex post traumatic stress disorder is a mental illness,” and described herself as “a little out there, unusual, irregular, eccentric.”