Courtney Love is in the hole. She reportedly owes Uncle Sam more than $500,000 in back taxes after paying off another unpaid tax bill from 2009. But don’t weep for her. She’s worth more than $150 million, despite a decade of reckless spending.
Her fortune is based her ownership stake in late husband Kurt Cobain’s music publishing rights for his band Nirvana. She inherited it when Cobain committed suicide in 1994.
In 2006, Love “finally and officially” sold 25 percent of her share in Nirvana’s publishing rights. But by 2014, she told the UK’s Sunday Times she burned through about $27 million.
Love says that the majority of money went toward settling several lawsuits over the years, including a legal battle between Love and surviving Nirvana bandmembers over the band’s unreleased material and a Twitter defamation suit filed by designer Dawn Simorangkir. That cost her $96,000.
“I know that’s a lifetime of money to most people, but I’m a big girl,” Love said at the time. “It’s rock ‘n roll, it’s Nirvana money, I had to let it go. I make enough to live on, I’m financially solvent, I focus on what I make now.”
Ah… not quite.
The 53-year-old singer’s latest bill from the federal Internal Revenue Service totals $568,674.62, according to court documents obtained by The Blast.
Love says she’s determined to be a good steward of Cobain’s music.
“I’ve protected it [the Nirvana catalogue] from everything from Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials to movies about board games,” she told UsWeekly. “We’ve been offered $6 million for 18 seconds of one Nirvana song and I turned it down.”
Meanwhile, last month Courtney paid tribute to her late husband to mark what would have been his 51st birthday.
The singer/songwriter, who gained fame with her own all-girl band Hole, was married to the Nirvana frontman from 1992 until he died.
Alongside a black and white photograph of them together, Courtney wrote on Instagram: “happy birthday baby god I miss you (sic)”
Courtney and Kurt have one child, daughter, Frances Bean Cobain.
Frances served as a producer on the 2015 documentary about Kurt, titled ‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’, which Courtney believes gave fans of the musician an insight into his “internal world.”