Courtney Love Labors to Get Back Kurt Cobain's MIA Fortune

Lawsuit in the works targeting dozens of former staffers who allegedly swindled millions from Nirvana star's estate

By Josh Grossberg, Ashley Fultz Apr 07, 2009 8:55 PMTags
Frances Bean Cobain, Courtney LoveCharley Gallay / Getty Images

Courtney Love's apparently in one heck of a financial hole, and that has her fighting mad.

Her lawyer tells E! News that the "Doll Parts" purveyor is preparing to file a lawsuit "in the next 30 days" on behalf of herself and daughter Frances Bean Cobain against a slew of unspecified parties she claims "looted" millions of dollars from late husband Kurt Cobain's estate.

"Courtney's main interest is ensuring that her daughter gets the assets back that were stolen," says San Diego attorney Rhonda Holmes. "Courtney is pursuing her rights on the criminal end against the people who stole, and her daughter and Kurt's estate are focusing on the financial aspect."

Plaintiffs will also include Cobain's mother, brother and two sisters, says Holmes.

The attorney refused to name names before any complaint is filed, but said the lawsuit will target "former assistants, former managers, CPAs, lawyers and a couple of banks."

"We are suing for fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and RICO violations and for mortgage fraud," says Holmes.

Holmes claims the would-be defendants pilfered $30 million in cash from a fortune worth up to $800 million. They scammed an additional $500 million through investments in various fraudulent real-estate mortgage ventures, which the lawyer says they arranged by forging power of attorney and the names and Social Security numbers belonging to Courtney, Kurt and Frances—even going so far as to alter the spellings of their names slightly to purchase homes and other holdings across the U.S.

"They would sell a piece of property to a related entity, to someone they know, and they would keep selling to make a profit," says Holmes. "There are now Kurts and Courtneys and Franceses spelled different ways that allegedly own properties all over the country that were bought by Kurt's assets.

"There was so much money at stake, and I think they thought they saw someone who was not paying attention [meaning Love] and took advantage of it."

Describing Love as "pretty frugal," Holmes adds that the former America's Sweetheart is also pushing for criminal charges to be filed, working with prosecutors nationwide on tracking down the bogus real-estate purchases and related fraud and money-laundering schemes.

"This," says Holmes, "is probably the tip of the iceberg."