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Police Confirm Drug Arrest of Cobain's Wife

April 14, 1994|SHAWN HUBLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

In an ironic twist to the suicide of Nirvana star Kurt Cobain, police on Wednesday confirmed that about the same time he is believed to have shot himself to death in Seattle, his wife was being arrested on drug charges in Beverly Hills.

Rock musician Courtney Love, 28, the mother of a 19-month-old girl, was arrested last Thursday at the posh Peninsula Hotel after hotel officials called police to report that they believed one of their guests had overdosed on heroin, Beverly Hills Police Sgt. Robert Smith said.

In Los Angeles to go over final details of the release of a new album by her band, Hole, Love had spent much of the week searching frantically for Cobain, who had unexpectedly walked out of a drug-treatment program at Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital in Marina del Rey and disappeared, according to friends.

Police said she was taken into custody under the name Courtney Michelle Cobain and taken by paramedics to Century City Hospital. But she was not admitted, and at noon she was booked into Beverly Hills jail on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a hypodermic syringe.

She posted $10,000 bail and was released Thursday afternoon with arraignment set for May 5, Smith said.

Less than 24 hours later, the body of her husband, Nirvana's lead singer, was found by an electrician at their Seattle home. Seattle authorities said Cobain, killed by a shotgun blast to the head, had been dead about a day.

Throughout their fast-rising careers, Love and Cobain had been known as much for the Angst and upheaval of their personal lives as for the music that so moved their generation.

Rumors about their drug use were rampant. In one infamous moment, Love was quoted in Vanity Fair as saying she took heroin while pregnant with their child. She later insisted that she had not known that she was pregnant at the time and that she stopped using the drug immediately.

Cobain, meanwhile, admitted in a 1992 interview with The Times that he had used drugs, including heroin, but then said he was drug-free. At the time, he explained that he did not want his daughter to be told by someone else that her parents were addicts. But there were other reasons as well: A Los Angeles County agency, apparently alarmed by the Vanity Fair report, had threatened to take custody of the child.

The couple prevailed, and the drug scandals died down until last month, when Cobain was hospitalized in Rome in a drug-and-alcohol induced coma.

In an interview with The Times three days before her arrest and Cobain's death, Love seemed sobered by her husband's close call.

"I accepted the fact I was a drug addict, and I go to the . . . meetings," she said, displaying a Narcotics Anonymous handbook.

" . . . I am aware I am not above it. I realize drugs can floor me."

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