Kurt Cobain Letter Reveals Threats to Break Up Nirvana Over Heroin Claims

By May Wilkerson 04/29/16

Cobain was furious over claims that his wife Courtney Love was using heroin while pregnant.

Kurt Cobain Letter Reveals Threats to Break Up Nirvana Over Heroin Claims
Photo via Julian’s Auction House

An angry letter penned by Kurt Cobain when he was in rehab has resurfaced at an auction, in which the late Nirvana frontman dismisses claims that he and wife Courtney Love had been using heroin during her pregnancy.

In the two-page handwritten letter, written to the head of his record label David Geffen, Cobain responded to an infamous Vanity Fair article published in September 1992 that alleged Love had been using heroin while pregnant with the couple’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, who is now 23.

“This article has outright accused my wife of all kinds of hideously vile things to the point where Ive never seen such a crucifixion in a magazine,” Cobain wrote. He threatened to break up the band over the article, and says the writer, Lynn Hirschberg, “must have her karma broken,” adding an ultimatum: “Its either her or me.”

“I love my wife and soon to be new daughter too much to let everyones low opinions of us ruin our lives together,” continues the letter. “I am now in rehab going on 18 days and Im really looking forward to having a family at this point f**k NIRVANA.” The Vanity Fair article was published following Frances Bean’s birth, after which she was temporarily removed from her parents' home by child services. 

In the letter, Cobain insists he would never tell a magazine he used drugs because he didn’t want to set a bad example for his fans. And he concluded it by threatening he would “lay anything on the line” for his family, including his band.


Geffen’s response to the letter, which has been circulating on the web for years before Cobain's letter came to light, is sympathetic. “The thing you have to remember is that these things pass and people quickly forget about articles of this type,” he wrote to Cobain.


Courtney Love, for one, did not forget. She has publicly berated Hirschberg and blamed her for Cobain’s suicide. “My world was turned upside down by a very bitter, very ugly woman named Lynn Hirschberg, who published an article about Kurt and me in Vanity Fair,” Love told The Fix in a 2011 interview. “She’s a monster—that’s all I can say. I don’t have hate in my heart for anybody, but she’s more responsible for my husband’s death than anyone.” 

Love also told The Fix that she had used drugs during her pregnancy, but only before realizing she was pregnant. “Yes, it’s true, I used heroin in the first three weeks of my pregnancy—but so fucking what!? I didn’t even know I was pregnant at the time!” She said she got clean for the remainder of the pregnancy. “When you have a baby inside you, you’re not going to do drugs or something stupid.” 

The letter is currently on display at the Hard Rock Cafe New York. On May 21, it will be auctioned off at Julien's Auctions at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square and is expected to sell for nearly $40,000, if anyone's interested.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.