Courtney Love Loses Control Of Kurt’s Image To Frances Bean

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Courtney Love (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Courtney Love (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

The family feud continues between Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean.

Love’s real troubles started when she lost control of her daughter in a 2009 custody battle. According to private documents obtained by The Fix, a publication focused on addiction and recovery, 19-year-old Frances has ceased control of her father’s publicity rights. In other words, she now owns his likeness and moving forward, will have final say on who and when Cobain’s image can be used.

The rights to an image and likeness as iconic as Kurt’s can be worth a fortune. Just one major ad campaign can result in over $5 million.

Frances also has the final say in business agreements negotiated by the attorney who represents Kurt’s image. Although Courtney Love remains a company member, she can no longer make decisions regarding Kurt’s image or likeness.

Now, Kurt’s music is another story. Larry Mestel of Primary Wave Music owns all the rights to Kurt’s music. According to The Fix, this means only Primary Wave can determine Kurt’s music is used. In other word’s Courtney’s rant about The Muppets’ use of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is unwarranted.

One of the major causes for Frances Bean’s decision to remove her mother from the equation is likely Love’s drug abuse, which has cause a public display of erratic behavior. In an e-book titled Courtney Comes Clean by Maer Roshan, Frances Bean is quoted “[Love] has taken drugs for as long as I can remember. She basically exists now on…Xanax, Adderall, Sonata and Abilify, sugar and cigarettes.”


Many people are asking how has Courtney Love remained in the public eye so consistently, even without producing a note of new music in years? According to Papermag, a New York-based arts and style magazine, it’s her presence on the internet. Whether on purpose of not, Love has been digitally inescapable since the 90’s.

In an interview, Love says “Yeah, well, I’m not a social network genius, as evidenced by being the first and only person ever to have a Twitter lawsuit. At the time that lawsuit happened, I didn’t even really fully get what Twitter was for or how it worked.”

“My online persona is a disaster — that’s not me. You can ask for help from these companies that supposedly remove stuff from the Internet for you, but they’re hilarious. [One company] was like, waiting for me when I called. They said they were going to charge me $250,000 per one page of results. A quarter-million dollars per page? Are they joking? I met this hedge fund banker guy who actually paid their fee, because he can’t have anything bad about him out there. I’m in entertainment, I can take all the sh*t you throw at me to some extent. But $250,000 to alter the crap out there about you on the Internet is just absurd.”

–Jay Tilles, CBS Local

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