Courtney Love Gave Up Rights to Kurt's Image for Cash

Publicity rights now in Frances' hands until mom repays $2.75M loan
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2012 1:41 AM CDT
Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during the taping of MTV Unplugged at Sony Studios in New York City in 1993.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – She lost custody of her daughter, Frances Bean in 2009, and in 2010 Courtney Love gave up custody of the name and likeness of Frances' father Kurt Cobain, according to court documents obtained by The Fix. The documents show that Love surrendered publicity rights for the Nirvana frontman in return for a $2.75 million loan from Frances' trust fund. Love has no say in the use of Cobain's name and likeness until the loan is repaid in full.

The administrative rights to Nirvana's music, meanwhile, are owned by Larry Mestel of Primary Wave Music, meaning that Love—who said the Muppets "raped" Kurt Cobain by using "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in their latest movie—was wrong when she claimed Disney had no right to use the song, because the decision was Mestel's. But it's 19-year-old Frances who now controls Cobain's image, so it'll be on her "if her dad's hologram goes on tour," notes Entertainment Weekly. (Read more Kurt Cobain stories.)

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