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In a 2005 red carpet interview, singer Courtney Love was asked to share some advice for a young woman moving to Hollywood. Her response?
“I’ll probably get libelled for saying this,” she began. “If Harvey Weinstein invites you to a private party in the Four Seasons, don’t go.”
Her warning, offered almost offhandedly, was met with laughter from those close by.
It wasn’t until 2017, when The New York Times published an exposé that aired wide-ranging sexual misconduct allegations against the producer (the story credited with kick-starting the #MeToo movement), that anyone truly heard her message. The clip of her comment ricocheted around social media, just 12 years too late.
The truth is Courtney Love has always struggled to be taken seriously beyond her loyal fanbase.
Twenty five years on from the release of ‘Live Through This’, her most acclaimed album with band Hole, the actor/musician’s public image continues to eclipse her successes and, often, her point of view.
“‘Rock Courtney’ and ‘Acting Courtney is where the talent is and that needs to be really protected by me, spiritually and in all sorts of ways,” she said, according to NME. “And then there’s ‘Celebrity Courtney’ who gets ripped off for money and gets in all sorts of tabloid trouble.”
Courtney Love’s childhood: The making of a rebel.
Love was born Courtney Michelle Harrison in 1965 to psychotherapist Linda Carroll and Hank Harrison, a publisher and manager for band Grateful Dead. Her parents split when she was five, amid allegations Harrison had threatened to abduct her and take her to another country. Carroll also claimed he’d given Love LSD when she was a toddler; a claim he has always denied.
“He was alleged in court — I don’t know if it actually happened — to have given me acid,” Love told The San Francisco Chronicle, “and gone around boasting about it, like some biological experiment.”
She spent her childhood the custody of her mother and stepfathers, living in communes in Oregon and briefly in New Zealand where she attended an all-girls school. But an arrest for shoplifting at age 14 was followed by a period in foster care, where she remained until she was legally emancipated at 16.