Kurt Cobain Death Scene Photos Will Remain Private
A pair of legal cases involving Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was resolved, with his family winning one and losing the other. In the first, an appellate court ruled that photos from his death scene will not become public and in the other, his daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, has lost possession of the acoustic guitar her father played on MTV Unplugged in her divorce.
The Blast is reporting that the appellate court has upheld a 2015 decision to prevent Richard Lee, a Seattle public-access television host who has long believed that Kurt Cobain's 1994 death was a murder and not a suicide as had been determined, from gaining access to the police department's pictures. Lee first sued the city to release the photos several years ago, but the case was dismissed on the grounds that he hadn't properly filed his suit and that he didn't give the city enough time to respond to his request. Frances Bean and Kurt's widow, Courtney Love, have been against the release, with both saying, on separate occasions that it would be too traumatic for both of them.
Lee has vowed to continue fighting. In a separate article in The Blast, he said, “Of course one feels horribly offended by a complete rejection of all legal arguments you have put forward, especially when this concerns so many separate contentions on the various types of disclosures requested. So the carte blanche rejection of my entire case for a second time feels a little like a gut-punch, with the appellate judges being a gang that does the secondary roughing-up. On the other hand, this makes for a tidier package to take to the Washington Supreme Court, so that I am not fighting this thing on two fronts, Supreme Court plus whatever issues could have been remanded to Superior Court.”
“The idea that in a case of violent homicide," he continued, "with the cast of characters involved and the evidence I have presented, that the courts are seriously ruling for relinquishing this key evidence of murder to some ashy urn is barbaric. This is not a happy day for investigative journalism under the Washington courts.”
Although Frances Bean's divorce from Isaiah Silva was finalized last November, the question of the ownership of Kurt's 1959 Martin D-18E had still not been determined until now. According to TMZ, Silva will become the guitar's owner, with Cobain getting the Los Angeles house they had shared, and she will not owe him anything in spousal support. In January 2017, Silva had claimed that she gave him the guitar as a wedding present, which she denied, adding it was a "priceless family heirloom."