The Fix Sparks a War of the Roses

By Adam K. Raymond 04/04/11

We always intended for our website to give readers the latest news on drugs and addiction and recovery. We've always planned to slay sacred cows, raise controversial questions, and produce national news. Our stories on Narconon, the coke vaccine, and Florida's drug gov were intended to be part of the top drug reporting in America. Our story on corruption inside the DEA carries on that tradition. So it was surprising to note that the story that made the most international waves during our first week online was a video posted in our Ask An Expert section by the chanteuse Courtney Love.

Love was one of 25 experts gathered by the Fix, from the respectable to the disreputable, to answer a wide-ranging questions. She is, admittedly, not in keeping with everyone’s idea of an expert on drug abuse (heroin, Letterman, jail, etc.). Despite some dissent, we chose to include her in this section because we believe her public battles with drugs and alcohol through the years make her a good resource for a lot of people who find themselves in the same position. Nobody does this perfectly, after all. We are apt to learn as much from other people’s defeats as we are from their victories.

Love's first response to a Fix reader was recorded on February 23. Then last week, after surveying about 80 questions, she decided to respond to a query from a Fix reader in Arizona about how long she'd been sober. Fiddling frantically with her Mac, after several tutorials from her surly assistant, Love got the hang of the thing. Courtney took to the new Fix like a sober duck to water. In between offering insights into the side effects of Adderrall (akathisia) and Ambien (falling asleep in your Eggs Benedict) and sharing the details of her unique program (hard drugs aren't okay; the odd glass of rose and prescribed Sonata are), Love took a slight detour to air Kelly Osbourne's bag of dirty drug laundry. Annoyed that old friend Kelly Osbourne had called her a crackhead (or said she dressed like one, there's some confustion), she lit into Ozzy's daughter. Courtney proclaimed that Kelly's comment was "really lame," and then got strangely personal. "I've saved her life twice," Courtney said of Kelly in her video for the Fix. "I've done CPR, I've put things in her boobs. Oxycontin, cocaine, foaming at the mouth." (See videoHERE).

Little did we know that our advice column would ignite an international fracas. The item was picked up by Gawker, and took off from there. The London Daily Mail and other media followed. Not content to see her good name besmirched, Kelly took the battle to Twitter, tweeting a message that said "I feel sorry for you" to Courtney and her 800 bold-faced friends. Naturally, that set off the former Mrs. Cobain, who had purportedly quit Twitter last year after mistakenly showing the world a nude picture that she said was for her boyfriend. From a private account called roseofsharon666, Courtney Twitter-lapsed and began sending out a stream of tweets to Kelly that accused her of, among other things, passively aggressively playing both sides. In the end, Courtney stopped the feud by suddenly reversing field and telling Kelly that she's a "good kid." She later elaborated on her her claims to saving Kelly's life, writing "all i did was perform cpr and sling her over my shoulder to the car." Then she returned her Twitter account to its regularly scheduled programming--dozens and dozens of pictures of clothes.

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Adam K. Raymond covers politics and sports for New York Magazine. Visit Adam's website and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.