Courtney Love cried in court Friday as a Los Angeles judge sentenced her to an immediate 28-day stint in a drug-rehabilitation facility, after the singer admitted she violated the terms of her probation.
Superior Court Judge Rand Rubin told Love that he had been planning to send her to jail instead, after having issued a bench warrant for her last week when the Los Angeles district attorney's office presented evidence that her fainting spell and subsequent visit to a hospital on July 21 were in fact drug-related (see "Courtney Love Rushed To Los Angeles Hospital"). The substance was not identified.
"My belief was that you need to go to the county jail," he told her, as she started to look distraught and tear up, "and I really planned on taking you in today, because I think you need to hit rock bottom before you make a decision about what you're going to do in the future. That was my belief this morning."
However, after conferring with lawyers on both sides, Rubin changed his mind, which Love's lawyer Howard Weitzman jokingly attributed to his "smooth talking" when he spoke to reporters outside the courthouse after the hearing. "I think this judge has shown compassion, understanding," Weitzman said. "I think he did the right thing."
Rubin said he decided that treatment would be a better option for Love, because "drug addiction is a disease," but he said he wanted her to try harder to beat it. "I do want you to know that I am very disappointed," he told her. "I can't force you to be successful in getting off drugs. Your lawyers can't force you to get off drugs. Three courts have tried now to help you get off drugs, and I am disappointed because you're not clean and sober. It certainly is not something to joke about."
His last remark may have been referring to her behavior on Comedy Central's roast of Pamela Anderson, which aired on Sunday, in which Love spoofed her own sobriety. "I've been clear and sober for a f---ing year, so all these drug yokes, jokes, are retarded," she said on the show.
Rubin ordered Love to check into an unspecified rehab facility by 5 p.m.
"I believe Courtney has every intent of complying with the court's order," Weitzman said. "I believe she has every intent on continuing to stay clean and sober. She had a relapse. She'll deal with it. She's serious, she's sincere, and she's pretty tenacious about getting her life in order. We'll see what happens, but I feel pretty comfortable with her ability to move forward."
Weitzman wouldn't comment on how this affects the recently reinstated custody Love has of her daughter, Frances Bean, saying, "That's all being worked out. That's something we need to keep personal."
Love's probation violation stems from three cases, two of which she struck plea agreements for just six months ago (see "Courtney Resolves Assault, Possession Cases With Plea Deal"). The cases involved charges of assault with a deadly weapon (which was reduced to misdemeanor assault with three years probation), two felony counts of illegal possession of prescription painkillers (which was reduced to one misdemeanor count of possession of a forged or altered narcotic prescription with more probation), and being under the influence of those same prescription painkillers (for which she received a sentence of 18 months of drug treatment just over a year ago).
Love is due back in court on September 16 for sentencing and what the judge called "some further consequences."