Longtime Kurt Cobain murder conspiracy theorist Richard Lee has sent Alternative Nation a lengthy press release and several documents pertaining to his lawsuit for full disclosure of extant documents in Seattle Department files on the death of Nirvana band leader Kurt Cobain.
Lee said, “I initiated this lawsuit more than a year ago, and in responding to a request by Mary Perry of the Seattle City Attorney’s office for a phone chat, I soon learned that she was asserting that Kurt Cobain’s widow and daughter were ‘parties’ to the city’s effort to suppress release of the photos and documents. Immediately looking into this, I found the attorney named for Cobain’s daughter stating outright that she did not represent her in any such matter, and Cobain’s widow’s named attorney neglecting to respond. So this very belated entry into the foray by these persons is somewhat surprising, and an indication of the weakness of the city’s position in general. In other words, without support from someone formerly or currently named Cobain, the city’s case would be largely one arguing for extreme secrecy on the basis of their own interpretation of good taste.”
There were more quotes from Lee and several legal documents in the e-mail, but since this is such a terrible thing to be writing about and leaves me feeling dirty as I even write this, I thought I would stick to Lee’s initial statement with his point of view, and Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain’s legal declarations (sent through their lawyers) where they list the reasons why they condemn the idea of releasing photos of Kurt Cobain’s body. The artwork that Frances refers to, according to Lee, is art work done by Sandow Birk.
Declaration of Frances Bean Cobain
“I, Frances Bean Cobain, declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Washington as follows:
1. I am Kurt Cobain’s daughter. I am over 18 years of age and I am competent to testify. I have personal knowledge of the matters below and could and would testify to them.
2. I understand that Richard Lee has filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle and the Seattle Police Department to try and force them to release never-before-released graphic photographs law enforcement personnel took at the scene of my father’s death, so that Mr. Lee can publicize them.
3. I once saw mock photos depicting my father’s body. That experience irreparably scarred me. I cried for days afterward. Those horrible images still haunt me. I cannot imagine how terrible it would be knowing that the photographs that Mr. Lee seeks were public, and that I or any of my loved ones, including my father’s mother and sisters, might inadvertently see them. Release and publication of the photographs would shock me and exacerbate the post traumatic stress that I have suffered since childhood.
4. Releasing the photographs would physically endanger me and my mother. My mother and I both receive a constant stream of death threats from very disturbed individuals who are obsessed with my father. Once, a stalker broke into my home while I was on vacation, and laid in wait for three days. This person’s twisted explanation was that he was meant to be with me because my father’s soul had entered my body.
5. Releasing these photographs into the public domain would encourage more disturbed stalkers and fanatical threats. It would make me feel even more unsafe in public and make me more fearful for myself and my family’s safety. I would have to delete all of my social media to prevent receiving the photographs.
6. I was less than two years old when my father died. I have worked hard to know him from stories from friends and family, photographs, and from his art, as the living person who was my parent. I do not want that image to be stained by the knowledge that these horrible photographs are public and that I might be exposed to them. I have had to cope with many personal issues because of my father’s death. Coping even with the possibility that those photographs could be made public is very difficult.
7. I am not the only person who would be irreparably scarred by public disclosure of the photographs. Although disclosure and publication of the pictures would harm all of the family and friends who loved my father, his parents (my grandmother and grandfather) and his sisters and brothers (by aunts and uncle), would be especially vulnerable to emotional pain and trauma from knowledge that the pictures were public.
8. The tragedy of my father’s death is a personal and private matter for me, his other family members, and his friends. Further sensationalizing it through the release of these pictures would cause us indescribable pain.
Signed at Los Angeles, California on July 20, 2015.”
Courtney Love’s response was the following:
Declaration of Courtney Love Cobain
“1. My name is Courtney Love Cobain. I have personal knowledge of the facts contained within this declaration, and am competent to testify thereto.
2. I am the widow of Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide in 1994. Kurt’s death was the most traumatic experience of my life. It left me physically distraught, and I continue to suffer emotionally from the loss of my husband to this day.
3. I understand that the Plaintiff seeks the public release of death-scene photos of Kurt that show his entire lifeless body, as well as the damage done by the shotgun blast to his head. I have never seen these graphic and disturbing images, nor do I ever want to. I cannot believe that there exists any genuine public interest which might be served by the public release of these images. Certainly, public disclosure would reopen all my old wounds, and cause me and my family permanent – indeed, endless, and needless – pain and suffering, and would be a gross violation of our privacy interests.
4. Inevitably, these images will wind up on the Internet, where they would be permanently disseminated. By virtue of the fact that Kurt is my late husband, they will also likely end up in search results about myself. I would unavoidably come across them, and I would never be able to erase those haunting images from my mind. I cannot even imagine the enormity of the trauma this would cause me, not to mention many others.
5. I am routinely called a murderer and receive death threats by conspiracy-theory obsessed individuals who believe I was somehow involved in my husband’s death, and the public release of these images would only exacerbate such activity and further endanger my safety.
6. It also sickens me that if released, third parties, like the Plaintiff, will wrongfully profit from exploiting these images.
7. Preventing unnecessary disclosure of private information related to Kurt has been my consistent position for over 20 years. In 1995, I successfully attained injunctive relief in the matter Courtney Love Cobain v. Washington State Patrol, No. 95-2-27261-4 SEA, preventing the disclosure of private letters Kurt wrote me shortly before his death.
8. I understand that even if the current matter is dismissed on procedural grounds, the Plaintiff might attempt yet another lawsuit. If that happens, I would again intervene like I did in the prior matter and seek injunctive relief.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Washington that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed July 20, 2015, in Los Angeles, California.”
The King County Superior Court will hear arguments for dismissal of Lee’s suit on technical grounds on Friday, July 31, at 11:00 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Theresa Doyle, Seattle Courtroom Number W-842.