This year commemorates the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, and has brought with it a lot of retrospection. The film Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck came out early this year, shedding some light on the beloved rock icon’s family and personal life. While Montage of Heck wasn’t flattering by any means, it certainly didn’t project his wife, Courtney Love, in the same light as the latest Cobain-inspired film Soaked In Bleach.
The crime documentary was filled with reenactments and argues the case that many fans have speculated over the years: that Love was behind her late husband’s death. While the film came out earlier this month, Courtney Love and her lawyers filed a “cease and desist” just last week to several movie theaters screening the film, on the basis that the film:
Presents a widely and repeatedly debunked conspiracy theory that accuses Ms. Cobain of orchestrating the death of her husband Kurt Cobain. A false accusation of criminal behavior is defamatory per se under California Civil Code Section 45a, which entitles Ms. Cobain to both actual and presumed damages…Any accusation that our client was responsible in any way for Mr. Cobain’s death thus cannot have any credibility. Any alleged factual representation to the contrary would be knowingly false, and hence intentionally and maliciously defamatory.
The producers of the film were quick to respond 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.
No doubt we can expect a response from Love sometime soon. Check out the trailer below in the meantime and make your own judgments: