Everyone knows the tragic saga of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who took his own life in 1994. Before killing himself, he was involved in an infamously tumultuous relationship with Courtney Love, whom many blame for his suicide.
Relying on one of the classic misogynistic tropes of women in relationships, conspiracy theorists claim that gold-diggin' Love was after Cobain's bank account, and had him murdered to get her greedy hands all over it. The Seattle police department and medical examiners have disputed the theory through forensic evidence, but who cares what they say? The rumors persist.
Another, equally troubling theory is that Love drove Cobain to commit suicide. Yet Cobain's final note praised Love, calling her a "goddess" who "sweats ambition and empathy," which sounds pretty damn nice to us.
Then again, a recently released document challenges that notion.
Do you Kurt Cobain take Courtney Michelle Love to be your lawful shredded wife, even when she’s a bitch with zits and siphoning all yr money for doping and whoring…
The released photo looks as if there may be more written underneath "whoring," but it's difficult to tell. So does this newly released vile letter support theories that Love was connected to Cobain's death? Is she the reason for his suicide? We can analyze songs, like "Heart Shaped Box," all we want, but we have no way of knowing what went on behind closed doors. And it's not really OK to blame any individual for another's suicide.
Let's set aside theories about Love's eccentricities for a moment and get down to the actual facts instead. Roughly 90% of people who commit suicide suffer from mental illnesses. Common ones are: serious depression, schizophrenia and personality disorders. As a kid, Cobain was diagnosed with ADHD and was later diagnosed as bipolar. Further research supports the theory that suicidal tendencies are inherited. Cobain himself had two uncles take their own lives. So already, these factors placed Cobain in a battlefield of pyshological landmines.
Environmental factors may trigger someone already prone to suicide to go through with it, but outsiders can't touch the pain and suffering these tortured people endure, including Love. In fact, Cobain's suicide letter explicitly states that he knows he had a good life:
I have it good, very good, and I'm grateful, but since the age of seven, I've become hateful towards all humans in general. Only because it seems so easy for people to get along that have empathy. Only because I love and feel sorry for people too much I guess.
Ultimately, the "bitch with zits" statement seems like the ramblings of a heroin-addled man stuck in a web of depression. Is it significant in any way? To conspiracy theorists, yes. To the rest of us? Not really. It's interesting to witness evidence of Cobain's inner demons, but besides that it doesn't tell us much. Love is complex, and in a moment of devastation, there were any number of motivations that could have driven Cobain to write these twisted vows.
Sorry conspiracy theorists, but we'll never really know what happened.
Image: the newly released note. Courtesy of, CBS News