Courtney Love's most notorious moments. From dissing Madonna to battling Russell Crowe, we count 'em down

By Brian Hiatt
March 01, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Courtney Love: Bill Davila/Retna

Courtney Love isn’t one to do things quietly. The latest example: her Tuesday arrest at London’s Heathrow airport on suspicion of endangering a flight (she allegedly verbally assaulted a flight attendant). Police released her hours later with just a warning, but not before had time to research a few of her most notorious moments of the past decade:

4. Disses Madonna on MTV (1995) It’s hard to make Madonna look staid. But a lipstick-smeared, semi-coherent Love managed that feat after she noticed Kurt Loder interviewing the material girl before the Video Music Awards. First, Love grabbed Loder and Madonna’s attention by tossing make-up at them; then she joined the interview, rambling on about Alanis Morissette as Madonna rolled her eyes like a head cheerleader forced to deal with the class geek. ”Courtney Love is in dire need of attention,” Madonna proclaimed later.

3. Beats down Kathleen Hanna (1995) Courtney Love has often been accused of getting physical, but one time stands out: On the opening stop of the Lollapalooza tour, Love smacked then-Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna (now frontwoman of electro-rock band Le Tigre). Love got a one-year suspended sentence for the brawl, and later called Hanna Cobain’s ”worst enemy ever.” The day after the fight, Love inexplicably turned her wrath on fans of fellow Lollapaloozers Cypress Hill, dubbing them ”pothead p—-ies.” Maybe they were Kurt’s enemies, too.

2. Crows about Russell Crowe (2002) In addition to Kurt, Love has been linked to Billy Corgan, Trent Reznor, Ed Norton, and current boyfriend Jim Barber. But she was also widely rumored to be dating Russell Crowe, and the Aussie actor didn’t appreciate those whispers — especially when gossips falsely claimed he fathered Love’s miscarried child. ”The fact that she didn’t come out and say, ”No, it wasn’t a sexual relationship” until 10 or 11 months later, that bothered me,” Crowe told Entertainment Weekly. Love later told EW that Crowe’s comments hurt her feelings: ”It made me feel like ugly Courtney.”

1. Reads Kurt’s will (1994) Turns out Courtney can’t even mourn quietly. Creating an outrageous, but ultimately touching spectacle, Love gave a dramatic reading of Kurt Cobain’s suicide note to a huge crowd of fans shortly after his death. She also added her own commentary along the way. ”God, he’s such an a–hole. I want you to all say a–hole really loud,” she began. And when she got to Kurt’s Neil Young quote — ”It’s better to burn out than to fade away” — she added: ”Don’t remember this because it’s a f—ing lie.”