Though Courtney Love managed to make it to the Grammys on Sunday, she failed to appear where it really mattered: at Wednesday’s (February 11) court hearing on drug-possession charges.
Love had asked the court to consider her for a program that allows nonviolent drug offenders to receive treatment instead of jail time, a matter that was to be determined Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court in Beverly Hills. Her attorney, William Genego, told the court Love hadn’t shown up because of “security concerns.”
Her felony possession case has now been put on hold until Tuesday, at which point Love will find out if she qualifies for the diversion program and whether she’ll have to change her plea from not guilty to guilty as a provision of that program (see “Love Pleads Not Guilty To Felony Drug Charges, Asks For Rehab” ).
Love’s chances of qualifying may have been damaged by her failure to appear, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles district attorney’s office said, though the decision remains up to the judge.
In the meantime, Judge Elden S. Fox has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the singer. The bench warrant was then put on hold until the next scheduled hearing, but if she fails to appear on Tuesday, she’ll be arrested, the district attorney’s office said.
Love is charged separately with a misdemeanor count of being under the influence of a narcotic, and a hearing for that was also scheduled for Wednesday. She was not required to appear at that hearing, and she did not, with her lawyer again citing security concerns. The misdemeanor case cannot proceed until the judge in the felony possession case decides whether Love is eligible for the rehab diversion program, so the hearing was rescheduled for February 23.
In the possession case, police say they found Love with an unspecified amount of the prescription painkillers hydrocodone and oxycodone. Love has previously claimed the drugs were Ambien, acetaminophen-codeine (a form of hydrocodone) and Percocet (a form of oxycodone). However, in recent posts to her Web site, Love claimed that the drugs were actually Ambien, OxyContin and Allegra, and she complained that authorities wanted her to produce the prescriptions and pill bottles. She also claimed authorities are using a photo from an event she performed at last year as evidence that she’s a “junkie” (see “Courtney Love Dresses Up As Donald Duck, Strips Down At Benefit Show” ).
“I am not a junkie,” Love posted on Wednesday. “However, maybe I just look like one. This photograph is the first thing in the DA’s file on me. … THIS is what the Beverly Hills DA chooses to put as his illustration of why I am hysterical, ridiculous and generally dangerous. … I’m not going to apologize for my runny mascara, or for the fact that my home is my daughter’s and my sanctuary.”
In a separate post, Love compared her situation with that of actress friend Winona Ryder, who faced drug charges during her December 2001 shoplifting arrest when police discovered she had various prescription painkillers on her. “Not to be a bitch, but Ryder was busted with a drugstore [in her purse] and had zero scripts,” Love posted on Wednesday. “This is insane, and I’m just getting a continuance.”
Coincidentally, Love’s felony case is being heard by the same judge who presided over Ryder’s trial.
The maximum penalty for conviction on Love’s combined felony and misdemeanor charges is four years and eight months in jail.
Love overdosed October 2, just hours after police had arrested her for being under the influence of a controlled substance (see “Courtney Love Rushed To Hospital For Drug OD Following Arrest” ). Twenty days later, an arrest warrant for possession charges was issued because of the painkillers police found on her when responding to the OD call (see “Courtney Love Turns Herself In On Felony Drug Charges” ).
The singer’s lawyers didn’t return calls for comment.