Courtney Love has never been known as a model of restraint and subtlety, and what you’re about to read will prove her behavior is not just a bad-girl act.
1. Her parents were the ultimate hippies
Love was born in San Francisco and spent her earliest years in the height of Haight-Ashbury hippidom — her father, Hank Harrison, was a road manager for the Grateful Dead. When her parents divorced, her mom accused Harrison of dosing then-toddler Love with LSD. She was in therapy by the time she was 2 years old.
2. Home was rarely ever the same place
After leaving San Fran, Love lived in a hippie commune in Oregon with her mom, psychotherapist Linda Carroll, on a sheep farm in New Zealand and in a refurbished chicken coop isolated from the rest of the family. She was also shuttled around to various friends, family members and schools, most of which she was summarily kicked out of, including reform school.
3. She was a stripper at 16 years old
Love claims she started stripping at either 15 or 16 (her story has changed throughout the years) and that she’s danced in Oregon, Japan and Alaska.
Part of her act was cutting herself with a razor blade.
4. Her first husband was a transvestite punk rocker
Love had a short-lived starter marriage to The Leaving Trains lead singer Falling James Moreland, and he does not have fond memories of their time together. “She definitely has an evil side. She once tried to burn my bed when I was sleeping. A fire started and I woke up in shock,” he said in Courtney Love: The Real Story. “It’s impossible to figure out Courtney’s motives. Her disdain was powerful, and she came off as a spoiled little snot… Courtney is a violent person who, even in the midst of our anonymous, crummy, poverty-stricken little marriage, threatened to have me beaten up for two hundred dollars when I didn’t do what she wanted. I was so scared of her I caved in immediately.”
5. Andy Warhol featured her on Fifteen Minutes
Introduced to Warhol by none other than Debbie Harry, a pre-plastic surgery Love was featured on the pop art icon’s MTV show Fifteen Minutes in 1987 after he noticed her in her roles in Sid and Nancy and Straight to Hell. She later claimed she hated the attention and took off back to Oregon, then Alaska, to gain back some anonymity. In less than a year, she was back in LA putting a band together.
6. She’s convinced Marlon Brando is her grandfather
Love’s mother, Linda Carroll, is the biological daughter of author Paula Fox, who gave her up for adoption. When Carroll was conceived, Fox was living with acting coach Stella Adler — as was a then-unknown Marlon Brando. Neither ever confirmed or denied paternity, but Love called the theory “very probable” in a since-deleted Facebook post after Fox’s recent death. Fox was not a fan of Love, by the way. “She’s awful, she’s awful. She’s terrible!” she told The Observer in 2013. “I met with her for an hour, and the hour was like an hour in the devil’s pocket, for both of us.”
7. R.E.M. wrote a song about her — supposedly
Love claims Michael Stipe wrote “Crush With Eyeliner” about her because he gave her eyeliner once. The pair have been good friends for many years, but Stipe says he wrote the song about the punk band NY Dolls.
8. Her daughter claimed she’s a negligent, pet-killing hoarder
In a 2009 deposition pleading her case for a restraining order against her mother, Frances Bean Cobain claimed her cat was killed after becoming trapped in piles of paperwork, fabric swatches and trash, and that a family dog OD’d on Love’s pills.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.