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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 October, 2004, 17:38 GMT 18:38 UK
The trials of Courtney Love
Courtney Love and Michael Rosenstein
Ms Love in LA Superior Court on 25 May with lawyer Michael Rosenstein
Singer Courtney Love has been in the headlines for most of this year thanks to her legal problems. BBC News Online outlines the cases against the singer - and the charges she still faces.

The former Hole frontwoman has been at the centre of four separate criminal court cases in the US, involving allegations of drug possession or violence.

Two of these have now been resolved although a fifth case, a civil action related to unpaid legal bills, is also under way in Los Angeles.

Always a volatile character, Ms Love made headlines in 2003 after she was cautioned by police in London after allegedly abusing cabin crew on a Virgin Atlantic flight from Los Angeles.

Returning to Los Angeles, she worked on solo material, advertising for a touring band and signing a new record deal. The end result was her debut solo album America's Sweetheart, released in the UK in February 2004.

But in October 2003, the widow of Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain's fortunes took a turn for the worse.



Courtney Love
Arriving at court in Beverly Hills on 17 February
Police were called to a suspected burglary at the Los Angeles house of Ms Love's former boyfriend and ex-manager Jim Barber in the early hours of 2 October.

She was alleged to have broken windows at the house in an attempt to enter it.

Ms Love was picked up in the street outside and detained - with officers noting "Miss Love's behaviour was consistent with being under the influence of a controlled substance".

Shortly after her arrest, Ms Love was taken to hospital with a suspected drug overdose.

She was charged with drug possession - the owner of the house declined to press charges relating to the alleged break-in. Later, a further charge of disorderly conduct was added.

In a separate move, prosecutors charged her with illegal possession of prescription drugs - the painkillers Hydrocodone and Oxycodone.

'Bag of pills'

Ms Love is alleged to have given police a small bag of pills after officers responded to a call from her home hours after her initial arrest.

Both cases have been dealt with separately, and have suffered numerous delays. On 11 February 2004, the third date the cases were due to be heard, Ms Love failed to show up in court, prompting an arrest warrant to be issued.

Courtney Love
A further appearance in Beverly Hills, this time on 15 April
She telephoned radio host Howard Stern to explain why she did not appear in court.

"I didn't show up for court because I didn't have a professional bodyguard," she said.

She swore several times and her conversation was rambling - but she insisted she was "sober as a judge".

Talking about the cases, she told Stern: "I'm not going to plead guilty to something I didn't do."

On 25 May, Ms Love pleaded guilty to being under the influence of cocaine and opiates, in a plea bargaining deal which saw her agree to enter a drug treatment programme.

The associated charge of disorderly behaviour was dropped, and - after delays caused by her admission to hospital in New York - she was sentenced to 18 months in drug rehabilitation on 27 July.

She was also banned from taking non-prescription drugs, drinking alcohol, or being in places which serve alcohol.

The second case - of possessing illegal prescription drugs - is still ongoing at Beverly Hills Superior Court.

If convicted, she could face up to three years and eight months in prison, although lawyer Michael Rosenstein has tried to plea bargain the case, hoping to have the charge downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanour.

This trial begins on 3 November.


Courtney Love on the Late Show with David Letterman
Ms Love's appearance on Letterman
Despite the two cases still outstanding at the time, Ms Love still had her album - America's Sweetheart - to promote.

A day after turning up two hours late to a Los Angeles courtroom, she made an appearance on David Letterman's New York-based TV talk show.

She repeatedly exposed her breasts at the presenter - with her back to the audience - and sang part of the folk song Danny Boy.

After the show, she went on to to perform a surprise gig at the Plaid nightclub in East Village, Manhattan.

There, she is alleged to have injured a man by throwing a microphone stand into the crowd.

Toilet interview

A 24-year-old man received hospital treatment for head injuries after the incident.

Ms Love was charged with assault and reckless endangerment.

After an appearance in Manhattan Criminal Court in May, she conducted a rambling interview with female reporters in a ladies' toilet.

"I'm exactly the same as I've always been," Love told the reporters.

"I'm not a demure housewife. Why should I start acting like one?"

On 29 June, she was reprimanded by Judge Melissa Jackson for turning up five hours late to a hearing.

Ms Love pleaded guilty to a single charge of disorderly conduct on 21 October, and was given a discharge, on condition she pays the victim's medical bills, joins a drug programme and stays out of trouble.

If Ms Love violates the conditions, she could still face 15 days in jail.


Courtney Love
On stage at New York's Bowery Ballroom on 19 March
In June 2004, Ms Love was charged with attacking a woman at Jim Barber's home - the scene of her first arrest in October.

The incident, involving a bottle and a torch, is alleged to have taken place on 25 April.

A 21-date summer tour of the US was postponed to allow Ms Love to deal with with her mounting legal problems.

An initial Los Angeles Superior Court hearing on 9 July - her 40th birthday - took place without her after the singer failed to show up.

Lawyer Michael Rosenstein said the singer had been confused about whether her presence was required.

An arrest warrant was issued - but it emerged she had been in a New York hospital with an unspecified gynaecological condition. She was reported to have told police she had had an abortion.

Ms Love finally appeared in court on 29 July, where the case was transferred to Beverly Hills Superior Court, so it could be dealt with alongside the earlier drug possession charges.

A preliminary hearing to decide if she will stand trial will be held on 27 October.

Rock star Love's case transferred
30 Jul 04  |  Entertainment
Love to spend 18 months in rehab
28 Jul 04  |  Entertainment
Love charged over 'bottle attack'
09 Jun 04  |  Entertainment
Rock star Love arrested after gig
18 Mar 04  |  Entertainment
Love 'overdosed' after arrest
03 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
Courtney Love: Force of nature
25 Mar 04  |  Entertainment

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