Frances Bean Cobain’s ex-husband Isaiah Silva is suing his former mother-in-law, Courtney Love, claiming she conspired to have him murdered over late husband Kurt Cobain’s famous 1959 Martin D-18E guitar. The instrument was featured during Nirvana’s 1993 performance on MTV Unplugged in New York.
The lawsuit also involves Sam Lutfi, Britney Spears’ former manager, and actor Ross Butler, according to Billboard. Silva, who possesses the guitar, claims Love, Lutfi, and Butler conspired to kidnap and murder him in an attempt to reclaim the guitar, which is reportedly worth millions of dollars.
In 2016, Cobain filed for divorce from Silva after six years together, and the guitar has been an integral part of the couple’s settlement. Love told the media the instrument is a family heirloom and does not belong to Silva. In the lawsuit, Silva claims Cobain gave it to him in 2014 as a present for their dating anniversary. He noted that his ex-wife needed Love’s permission to remove the guitar from storage to give it to him. Silva added that Love showed no interest in the guitar until Lutfi stepped in.
Silva claims Lutfi started giving Cobain narcotics and benzos in 2012. Butler delivered the drugs to his ex-wife without his knowledge, according to Silva. Cobain’s drug use nearly ended their engagement, Silva said, but they ended up getting married in 2014. She allegedly continued using drugs leading up to their 2016 separation.
During the divorce proceedings, the lawsuit claims Love and Lufti “became obsessed with finding a way to retrieve the guitar from Silva.”
The pair, along with Butler and a chauffeur named Yan Yukhtman, allegedly hacked Silva’s iMessage account and sent out messages that alluded he was suicidal. Silva claims this was part of a grand plan to invade his home, kidnap him, and kill him—making it look like he took his own life.
Silva contacted the Los Angeles Police Department to report the suspicious activity. He claims Love and Lufti then began a campaign to turn his friends, family and bandmates against him. The lawsuit also describes an incident in which Lutfi, Butler and Yukhtman broke into Silva’s house, threatened him, and attempted to kidnap him. A friend and the LAPD intervened, but the lawsuit says, “it is believed, based upon facts and evidence, that Silva would have been taken to a secondary crime scene and murdered on June 3, 2016.”
Silva claims Lutfi harassed and threatened him to sign a settlement agreement that involved surrendering the guitar as well as the house, photographs, and recordings of Cobain he had acquired during his relationship with his estranged wife.
Silva waited until June 8, 2016, to file a police report and get a temporary restraining order against Lutfi because the man convinced him that Love and Cobain “controlled the LAPD, judicial system, and media.”
Cobain and Silva’s divorce was finalized in 2017. As per the settlement, Silva kept the guitar, and Cobain won the rights to the couple’s property. She is not providing any spousal support to Silva.