On the 10-year anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death, Courtney Love found herself facing accusations on both coasts — with prosecutors in Los Angeles pressing ahead with drug charges against her, and authors of a new book holding a press conference in New York suggesting she contributed to her late husband's death.
Love's court hearing addressed misdemeanor drug and disorderly conduct charges stemming from an incident in October, when police arrested the singer for being under the influence of a controlled substance (see "Courtney Love Faces Up To A Year In Jail For Drug Charge"). Love was also separately charged that month in Beverly Hills with two felony counts of unlawful possession of prescription painkillers (see "Courtney Love Turns Herself In On Felony Drug Charges"). Last month prosecutors added the charge of disorderly conduct (see "Courtney Love Hit With Disorderly Conduct Charge").
Judge Patricia Schnegg on Monday denied a defense motion to suppress the results of Love's drug test at the time of the arrest. Love's lawyer interviewed the two arresting officers, who were called to the stand, attempting to establish there had not been probable cause to arrest the singer and make her take the test. Had the test and its resulting toxicology report been thrown out, "in all likelihood, it would have torpedoed our case," said Los Angeles city attorney spokesperson Frank Mateljan. The case will now proceed at the next hearing, April 16, at which point a trial date is expected to be set.
Meanwhile, a book titled "Love and Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain" is resurrecting the theory that the Nirvana frontman did not kill himself. At a press conference at New York's Hilton Times Square on Monday, authors Max Wallace and Ian Halperin appeared alongside Love's former private investigator, Tom Grant, to play audio tapes from Love's conversations with Grant, whom she hired when her husband went missing.
The authors attempt to prove in their book, out this week, that mysterious circumstances surround Cobain's death, pointing to Love's behavior and statements as being suspicious. Contributing to their theory is that on these tapes, Love talked about a second suicide note that wasn't put into evidence, that Love said Cobain was leaving her, and that Love told Grant she had no idea where her husband was, even though she had actually received a message from him and he had been sighted at their Seattle home.
In their book, Halperin and Wallace attempt to connect those tapes to the forensic evidence and argue that a murder was staged to look like a suicide. They argue that Cobain would not have been able to pull the trigger due to the high amount of heroin in his system, and they question why no legible fingerprints were found on the shotgun. They also question the validity of the suicide note.
However, NBC's "Dateline" aired a segment on Friday debunking many of Halperin and Wallace's conclusions. "Dateline" interviewed five medical examiners, two of whom said that Cobain's high tolerance to drugs might have enabled him to turn the gun on himself, while three others said the information was inconclusive. Other experts noted that prints can be smudged off a gun when it recoils on firing. And when "Dateline" showed the suicide note to four handwriting analysts, three said the sample was inconclusive, while one said that the entire note was written by a single person and that the printing was similar to other samples of Cobain's writing.
Love has always categorically denied any allegations that she contributed to her husband's death, and Halperin and Wallace stop short of accusing her of murder.
"We spent eight years looking for a smoking gun," Wallace said, "and nothing proves Courtney Love killed Kurt Cobain. We searched, and we searched hard."
Despite this, Halperin and Wallace are asking Love to clear her name by explaining why she allegedly filed two false police reports, and by releasing the medical examiner's file. "If Kurt Cobain committed suicide, that file will clear that up," Wallace said. "But she's sabotaged every effort to get it."
"If Courtney Love comes forward and is vindicated, that does not mean, however, that Kurt Cobain was not murdered," Halperin added. "But she should get on the trail and find out who really killed her husband."
Love's spokesperson issued a statement on Wednesday responding to the authors' allegations: "Courtney and her family regret that Wallace and Halperin have opportunistically used the anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death to promote their ongoing campaign of greed and exploitation of what remains an unbearable tragedy for us all. There has been a thorough investigation of Kurt Cobain's death by the Seattle Police Department, and it has been unquestionably ruled a suicide. We hope that everyone will ignore them and focus on Kurt's life and music."
Meanwhile, Love will appear on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on April 15 to perform "Hold on to Me." Earlier that day, she'll be in court for the felony possession charges.