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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 March 2004, 17:11 GMT
Courtney Love: Force of nature
Courtney Love
Love spent her childhood living among hippies
Courtney Love is in trouble after a number of brushes with the law - adding another chapter to the singer and actress' life of hell-raising antics.

The former stripper who ended up marrying one of rock music's biggest icons has earned a reputation for being volatile and unpredictable.

Whether threatening to punch Christina Aguilera or exposing her breasts to talk show host David Letterman, Love is probably better known for her provocative behaviour and aggressive sexuality than her musical and acting abilities.

The 40-year-old singer-actress once described herself by saying: "I'm not a woman, I'm a force of nature."

Born Love Michelle Harrison, the daughter of a Grateful Dead-loving father and psychologist mother, she spent her formative years in hippy communes and schools in Europe and New Zealand.

Courtney Love
Love lived in Liverpool before moving to Los Angeles
She attracted the attention of the law from a tender age, and claims to have ended up in a reform school when she was 16 for stealing a Kiss T-shirt.

During her late teens and early 20s, she sampled the burgeoning European post-punk scene while living in Liverpool and Dublin.

Love moved to Los Angeles to begin her own musical career while working as an erotic dancer to pay her rent.

She played in early line-up of US alternative rock group Babes in Toyland before forming her own band, Hole.

In 1989, she married a transvestite musician known as Falling James - but within months the relationship had ended in divorce.

Heroin

She would later fall for Nirvana's troubled singer Kurt Cobain, and the pair married in Hawaii in February 1992, just as he and his band were becoming worldwide stars. Their daughter, Frances Bean, was born six months later.

Kurt Cobain
Love and husband Kurt Cobain were grunge's golden couple
The couple's use of heroin has been well documented, although Love flew into a rage with a Vanity Fair journalist who reported she had injected the drug while pregnant.

Cobain did enter a clinic in 1994 in an effort to beat his addiction but he left and killed himself with a shotgun at their Seattle home.

Later, warning her daughter about drugs, Love said: "Cocaine is like really evil coffee."

Since Cobain's death, she has been linked to a number of men - and women - including Brad Pitt, Smashing Pumpkins singer Billy Corgan and former TV presenter Amanda de Cadenet.

She claims to have had a relationship with Oasis singer Liam Gallagher shortly after his split from Patsy Kensit.

In 2002, she was photographed running along a central London street naked during a cover shoot for the latest Q magazine.

Courtney Love
Love has been praised for her acting work
At the same photo session, she had an intimate bikini wax in a room full of people and poured a bottle of champagne over her head.

The following February, Love was arrested at Heathrow Airport after verbally abusing cabin crew during a Los Angeles flight. Love spent nine hours in custody and was given a police caution.

Legal troubles

Eight months later, she was charged with drug possession and disorderly conduct after allegedly trying to break into the Beverly Hills home of a former boyfriend, Jim Barber.

By mid-2004 she was facing four separate criminal cases - including two relating to the incident in Beverly Hills, and one of assault and reckless endangerment after an incident at a New York gig in March when a man was injured by a microphone stand she was alleged to have thrown into the crowd.

That gig followed an appearance on David Letterman's US TV talk show where she repeatedly beared her breasts at the presenter.

She is also charged with assaulting a woman in April outside the home of Jim Barber.

In addition to her criminal case, she is also involved in a civil action in Los Angeles relating to unpaid legal bills.

Away from her colourful personal life, Love has won admiration for her music and film work.

As the explosive singer with Hole, she recorded three well-received albums that tapped into the disaffection so keenly felt by many fans of her late husband's work.

Acting acclaim

Her debut solo album, America's Sweetheart, received a lukewarm critical reception on its release in February 2004.

She has also earned acclaim as a movie actress.

After bit parts in the 1980s Alex Cox films Sid and Nancy and Straight To Hell, she landed a Golden Globe nomination for her starring role alongside Woody Harrelson in The People vs Larry Flynt.

It is her performances off the screen and stage, though, that has propelled her into the headlines.


SEE ALSO:
Rock star Love arrested after gig
18 Mar 04 |  Entertainment
Courtney Love makes on-air plea
13 Feb 04 |  Entertainment
Love charged with drug offences
09 Oct 03 |  Entertainment


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