Courtney Love is no longer the keeper of Kurt Cobain’s public image, according to a report. Publicity rights for the late Nirvana singer’s estate are reported to have passed from his widow to his 19-year-old daughter, Frances Bean Cobain.
In 2010, Love apparently stepped down as manager of the company that administers Cobain’s publicity rights, including rights to his name and likeness. According to documents obtained by the Fix, an online magazine dealing with addiction and recovery issues, Love ceded her role at The End of Music in exchange for a $2.75m (£1.7m) loan from her daughter’s trust fund. Until the loan is repaid, Love is not entitled to income from any new deals relating to Cobain’s image.
Frances Cobain broke with Love in 2009, when her aunt and a paternal grandmother were named her new legal guardians. She turned 18 in August 2010, taking ownership of most or all of her trust fund. She and her mother are now apparently locked in a battle over a collection of Cobain’s belongings, including musical equipment, clothing and several of the singer’s paintings. But rights to Nirvana’s music seems to have nothing to do with either of them: administrative rights for Cobain’s songs are overseen by a company called Primary Wave Music, and Primary Wave’s Larry Mestel also owns 50% of the publishing rights. He would have made the decision to license Smells Like Teen Spirit to the new Muppets movie.
Despite frequently ranting about her daughter online, Love recently apologised to her on Twitter. “Bean, sorry I believed the gossip,” she wrote. “Mommy loves you.”
[Courtney Love performing in Ottawa in 2010 via Paul McKinnon / Shutterstock.com]