Release of Graphic Cobain Death Photos Blocked

Appeals court rules against conspiracy theorist
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2018 4:11 AM CDT
Frances Cobain, left, and Courtney Love arrive at the LA Premiere Of "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck" held at the The Egyptian Theatre on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
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(Newser) – A conspiracy theorist who thinks the government killed Kurt Cobain has once again failed to persuade judges that graphic photos of the Nirvana frontman's death should be released. A Seattle court of appeals ruled against Richard Lee this week, saying the photos were exempt from Washington state's Public Records Act and releasing them would violate the Cobain family's due process rights, USA Today reports. Cobain's April 5, 1994 death was ruled a suicide. The singer killed himself with a shotgun, and legal papers state the photos show the body "after he was shot in the head." An earlier lawsuit from Lee seeking the photos was also tossed out, though police released previously unseen photos from the scene in 2014.

Release of the photos had been firmly opposed by widow Courtney Love and daughter Frances Bean Cobain, Guardian reports. In a letter to the judge, Frances, who was a toddler when her father killed himself, wrote that releasing the scene-of-death photos would cause "indescribable pain." She also said she feared such a release would worsen the harassment from obsessed fans she already faces. The 25-year-old is the singer's only child. According to court papers filed Monday as part of a divorce settlement, she has agreed to let ex-husband Isaiah Silva keep the iconic guitar Kurt Cobain played in a Nov. 1993 Unplugged appearance People reports. She had been fighting her ex in court to keep the Martin D-18E guitar, which Silva claimed had been given to him as a wedding present.

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