Courtney Love needs help with a Seattle trial

Jun 21, 2010, 2:40 AM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

Following Courtney Love’s updates on Twitter is a bit like reading a movie-prop ransom note. Despite misspellings, randomly capitalized words, and incomplete sentences, one message comes through clearly – she needs help.

Courtney’s court case

Love is getting ready for a Seattle court case involving her daughter’s trust fund. Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain died in 1994 without a will. A few years after his death, the family created a trust fund for Frances Bean Cobain who is now 17 years old. Frances, the only child of Cobain and Love, is the sole beneficiary of the trust. But Love was given the authority to review expenses and disbursements from the fund.


Daughter and mother – Frances Bean Cobain and Courtney Love during a 2009 New York Fashion Week show (AP photo)

Love claims a Seattle-based wealth management company, Laird Norton Tyee Trust, lost $8 million of her daughter’s money. Laird Norton says it has done nothing wrong with the girl’s trust fund. A jury trial is scheduled in Seattle next month on the trust dispute.

To make this case more complicated, Love lost custody of her daughter late last year. Relatives, who are now responsible for Frances, are reportedly trying to eliminate Love’s name from the trust.

A tweet for help

The rock musician and actress is using her Twitter page to ask for legal help. She doesn’t want financial assistance; she wants assistants who can dig into documents and find answers for her.


For the past two weeks, Love has been asking people to wade through various documents and court records. An intriguing Twitter trail of alleged forged loans, aliases and mysterious addresses has emerged. Along the way, Love tweets:

it adds up to over 30m in fraud just on that site i know they are lpng eg the 53 poas that i never signed, and proof that my ssn isnt mine

and i want a public record it might make me seem crazy but when faced with obvious forgery that dont raise more than an eyebrow

sometimes you have tio use twitter for something i have finally found the one good thing it is for EVIDENCE!

the money stuff terrifies me cos its not my natural soul

i thnk there is a happy ending story in all of this

Love’s Twitter Army

Love is mobilizing what one follower calls “a grassroots army of guerilla researchers.”

Jessica Labrie, a Vancouver, B.C. college student, is on the case. Labrie says they’ve pieced together a puzzle of embezzlement between $900 million and $2.2 billion from the Nirvana/Kurt Cobain Estate .

“To lend her some compassion was the least I could do,” says Labrie in an email interview. “I’m not a legal expert and I have no comment on the case, that is up to the lawyers.”

UW graduate and journalism student Carmela Kelly has been following Love’s story since November. Her report in an Arizona community college newspaper, Puma Press, details Love’s battle with trustees. Kelly tells me through an email she’s interested in this case and story because, “where there’s smoke there’s fire.” She also says Love is personally inspiring.

“Who can ever forget Courtney in the 90s and later encouraging women and girls that they could compete in rock? I never forgot that,” Kelly says. “I felt strengthened as a person and I watched her pioneer for us woman.”

What Labrie, Kelly and others are doing is no small task. They’re looking through thousands of documents, then formatting, transcribing, collating, correcting grammatical errors, and making a public record of the information with Twitpic (a Twitter photo sharing service). Legal aides would make decent money for the hours they’d spend on this kind of case. Love’s Twitter followers are willing to do the work for free.

“I feel honored to be able to help at all,” Labrie says. “I’m moved immeasurably by Courtney as an artist, and will help for as long as my contributions are needed.”

Alison Baker, who considers herself a member of Courtney’s Twitter Army, is trying to help because she’s “sick of all the untruths” about Love in the press, and the way she’s portrayed as “crazy Courtney.”

“This is not the case,” Baker says. “Courtney is an extremely smart and intelligent woman. I feel so sad for her that most people don’t take her seriously enough to want to help.”

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Courtney Love needs help with a Seattle trial