Courtney Love has long been the unfortunate target of a conspiracy theory suggesting she had a hand in the 1994 death of her husband, Kurt Cobain. Though the incident was officially ruled a suicide (twice), Love has been persistently dogged by rumours of her involvement in the Nirvana frontman’s gruesome demise. Now, those rumours are manifesting in a cinematic murder-mentary dubbed Soaked In Bleach, and Courtney is not feeling the Love.
The Hole frontwoman is threatening legal action against cinemas who dare to show the conspiracy doco, which gives a platform to the theories espoused by the pitchfork-wielding leader of Love’s lynch mob, Tom Grant.
Grant is in fact a private detective who was hired by Love to locate Kurt Cobain after he first went missing, and Soaked In Bleach gives a platform to his beliefs that Cobain’s death was part of a murder-for-hire plot, masterminded by his then-wife.
“The film falsely presents a widely and repeatedly debunked conspiracy theory that accuses Ms. Cobain of orchestrating the death of her husband Kurt Cobain,” writes Love’s attorney in a cease-and-desist order aimed at cinemas planning to screen the film (which you can read in full here). “A false accusation of criminal behavior is defamatory … which entitles Ms. Cobain to both actual and presumed damages.”
“For years Ms. Cobain has been publicly subjected to threats based on the same kinds of baseless theories that appear in the Film, and dissemination of the Film would only exacerbate the risk that she will suffer further emotional and financial harm,” the document continues.
In response to the cease-and-desist notice, the producers of Soaked in Bleach have responded with the following statement [via Deadline]:
“We were disturbed to learn that Courtney Love’s lawyers sent threatening letters to movie theaters all over the country. Most arrived before ‘Soaked in Bleach’ was released last week, presumably before she or her lawyers ever saw it. She obviously hoped to scare theater owners into dropping the film. Thankfully, very few were intimidated. Most saw the letter for what it is – a cowardly attack on the rights of free speech, free expression and free choice.
Courtney Love’s uninformed accusations and efforts to discredit the film are totally off base. The film examines the well documented facts surrounding the death of Kurt Cobain and it questions much of what the public has been told about those events. Most of the opinions and theories presented in the film come directly from facts gathered by Tom Grant, the private investigator Courtney Love hired the week before Kurt’s body was discovered. Tom quickly became suspicious and tape recorded all his conversations with Courtney and others in the days leading up to and after Kurt’s death. The film uses those recordings to reenact Tom’s encounters with Courtney Love and others in Kurt’s inner circle. It also presents the views of Norm Stamper, Seattle’s Police Chief at the time, and Dr. Cyril Wecht, a leading forensic pathologist, who both question whether Kurt could have committed suicide.
Courtney Love and her lawyers clearly don’t like that the film presents a compelling case for re-opening the investigation into Kurt’s death. They should respect the First Amendment and let people decide for themselves.”
It’s important to note that the Seattle PD actually did reopen the investigation into Cobain’s death last year, and it was, again, ruled a suicide.
Watch: Soaked In Bleach – Official Trailer #1