From The Fix:
Courtney Love’s control over the estate of Kurt Cobain continues to slip. In 2009, Cobain’s drug- and alcohol-troubled widow lost custody of their only daughter, Frances Bean Cobain. Now, according to sealed documents exclusively obtained by The Fix, 19-year-old Frances has taken over control of the publicity rights for the Nirvana icon’s name, likeness and appearance.
“Publicity rights are potentially worth a fortune,” says Jonathan Faber, an attorney and managing partner of Luminary Group, who once represented Kurt’s estate in policing copyright infringement and investigating licensing opportunities. “They amount to the intellectual property rights.”
The documents show that Love agreed to step down as Acting Manager of End of Music LLC—the business entity responsible for generating cash from Cobain’s publicity rights—once she’d received a $2.75 million loan from Frances’ trust fund in 2010. The massive loan was transferred from Frances’ fund to EOM in Los Angeles, and then into an account held by Courtney’s then-lawyers, Pryor Cashman, in New York. Until Courtney pays it back, she won’t receive a dime from Kurt’s name, likeness or appearance from the deals formed by Frances and her advisers since December 2010.
Frances also has the final say-so in business agreements negotiated by the attorney and now acting manager of EOM David Byrnes, of Ziffren Brittenham in LA. Love remains a company member, but without the power to make decisions on anything bearing the likeness of Cobain, who committed suicide on April 5, 1994.
Love lost legal control of her daughter (and her daughter’s fortune) in a custody battle in 2009; Frances cited drug addiction and violence to justify a restraining order against her mother, and The Fix’s e-book, Courtney Comes Clean, by founder Maer Roshan, quotes Frances saying Love “has taken drugs for as long as I can remember. She basically exists now on…Xanax, Adderall, Sonata and Abilify, sugar and cigarettes.”
After the custody battle, reps for Frances’ trust fund in Seattle ousted Courtney from the trust, where she served as an adviser. The case ended publicly in December 2010, with both Courtney and the fund manager, Laird Norton, stepping down, but it continued quietly in JAMS Arbitration in LA.
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