Kurt Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, and widow, Courtney Love, are about to lose a vicious tug-of-war over his famed “Unplugged” guitar that has raged on for years — a battle that’s involved alleged death threats and murder plots, private investigators and multiple ugly lawsuits.
As recently as July, Love and Frances were mounting a new legal attempt to wrest the instrument back from Frances’ ex-husband, Isaiah Silva. But on Monday, auction house Julien’s announced that the guitar will be on the block in late June.
It is not confirmed who the seller is, but since Love has called it “a treasured heirloom of the family,” it is clear they are not behind the sale — suggesting it’s being sold by Silva.
In 2014, Frances, the late Nirvana frontman’s only child, secretly married obscure musician Silva — and when they split acrimoniously in 2016, Silva kept the 1959 Martin D-18E that Kurt played in the legendary 1993 “MTV Unplugged” session, claiming that Frances had given it to him as a wedding gift.
After Silva refused to return it as part of the divorce agreement, Love fumed, “It’s not [Silva’s]. It’s a treasured heirloom of the family. It’s not his to take.”
Page Six later reported that Love had enlisted Sam Lutfi, the notorious former manager of Britney Spears, to mount a campaign to pressure Silva to hand it over — even allegedly threatening the mother of Silva’s son, telling her their child would end up in an orphanage.
Yet, in May 2018, a judge gave Silva the legendary instrument in the divorce settlement. But the battle roared on, with Silva filing a lawsuit accusing Love and Lutfi, among others, of attempting to kill him to get it back. This past July, Love was demanding that Silva be given a psych evaluation as part of that suit.
Julien’s Auctions said the guitar will go on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in London before the sale. Love and Frances didn’t immediately comment.
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