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RICK JAMES BOUGHT COCAINE JUST HOURS BEFORE HE DIED
Legend had long history of drug abuse
Late funkmeister, Rick James
Just hours before he died, funk music legend Rick James was seen copping his last score of drugs -- coughing horribly and gasping for air.
Best known for the 1981 hit "Super Freak," 56-yearold Rick was found dead in the morning hours of Friday, August 6, after claiming to be clean and sober following years of drug abuse.
But a female friend who spent the previous evening with the singer told The ENQUIRER that she witnessed him scoring drugs.
"Rick was high for an entire week straight prior to his death," the friend disclosed.
"On Tuesday and Wednesday he'd received four separate drug deliveries -- cocaine for snorting and crystal meth to smoke.
"The last time I saw him on Thursday, he was suffering from coughing fits so bad that he was gasping for air.
"It's terribly sad. When I said goodbye I had the same feeling I always had leaving him -- it might be the last time I'd ever see him alive."
Rick had a stroke in 1998, two years after he served time in prison for assaulting two women.
"Rick said drugs always made him feel better," said the friend. "He said his stroke gave him a twitch that only cocaine could ease.
"While publicly he professed to be drug free, privately Rick was very cavalier about his addiction. He laughed about his drug usage. He'd always say, 'Other people who take drugs are messed up. But I can afford it.'
"Toward the end all he would do was sleep, work and get high. He just didn't like being sober, except while he was in prison for two years. But in the end, he could never break free from the hold that addiction had on him."
On his last flight to Los Angeles about six weeks before his death, Rick was showing the sad effects of drug abuse, an eyewitness revealed.
"His body was racked with spasms. The first thing he did when the plane took off was ask for a Heineken. He guzzled it and then passed out. He was snoring so loudly the other passengers complained.
"When he woke up he was shaking convulsively. The flight attendants were terrified.
"He demanded a gin and tonic, threw it back, and the shaking subsided. Then he fell asleep -- and started snoring again." Another pal declared: "Rick's appetite for cocaine was massive.
"Back in the '80s when he was at his peak, Rick was recording an album and he kept a plastic garbage can next to the piano filled to the brim with cocaine!"
Another friend added: "They say Rick died in his sleep -- but I have no doubt he suffered a massive final heart attack brought on by drugs.
"I saw him just a few days ago and he was a wreck. Glassy-eyed, couldn't breath. And he shook terribly.
"He was a sweet man -- when he wasn't screwed up.
"But those days were few and far between." -- ROBIN MIZRAHI, PATRICIA TOWLE, MICHAEL GLYNN and PATRICIA SHIPP