The last time
Now 45 and sober, Love stopped by the show on Tuesday night for the first time since that 2004 incident and explained to Letterman that she is a changed woman.
"They had to douse me out and clean off and pick all the little things out of my hair," she said when Letterman sounded shocked at the long gap between their chats.
"It started when I came on this one talk show and got on someone's desk and took my shirt off and danced on it," Love said, looking down in mock embarrassment. She also revealed that right after the flashing incident, the start of what she called her lost "Letterman years," Love got arrested that night, and then things kind of went to hell for the next three years.
"You're not blaming this on me, are you?" Letterman asked, concerned. When asked what her "bottom" was, the moment when she realized she needed help and had fallen into the abyss, Love said succinctly, "Your desk."
Probed further about what had prompted her to disrobe during that visit, Love explained, "Drew Barrymore had done it when she was 19, and I was so out of my mind when I did it, I thought I was 19. But I was actually 39."
For his part, Letterman deadpanned, "I enjoyed it. ... I don't want to be what they call an enabler ... but it seemed like you were at the top of your game to me." Love noted that the video of that appearance is still one of the first things that pops up on a Google search of her name.
The one-time grunge-pop icon claimed on Howard Stern's satellite radio show on Monday that she had a torrid eight-month affair with former Bush singer Gavin Rossdale while the rocker was also romancing his now-wife, Gwen Stefani. She was also not shy when telling Letterman about her struggles with illegal drugs.
"I did a lot of cocaine back then. I had bad people around me," she said. "I abused it. There's nothing else you can do with cocaine."
While in rehab, Love said she wrote apology letters to a number of people who'd been impacted by her drug-taking, among them Letterman; he confirmed that he'd gotten that letter.
Saying she is now sober, Love, wearing a demure cream-colored sleeveless top, black skirt and black hose, also claimed to have been addicted to unnamed pills and "everything bad" before entering rehab and getting cleaned up. She is currently promoting the new Hole album, the just released Nobody's Daughter.
What do you think of Courtney Love's latest revelations? Discuss in the comments.