Courtney Love turns herself in on drug charges. She's charged with two felony counts for allegedly possessing unprescribed painkillers

By Gary Susman
Updated October 28, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Credit: Courtney Love: Adam Houghton/Capital Pictures/

Turns out Courtney Love spent the last week as a wanted woman. According to MTV News, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office issued a warrant for her arrest on Oct. 22 on charges of possession of the painkillers hydrocodone and oxycodone without prescriptions. The two felony counts stem from her wild night of Oct. 2, when she allegedly tried to break into ex-boyfriend/manager Jim Barber’s house, then hours later was taken to the hospital after claiming to have overdosed on painkillers. The incidents first resulted in a loss of custody of her daughter, Frances Bean, to the 11-year-old’s paternal grandmother, Wendy O’Connor. On Tuesday, the Associated Press reports, Love voluntarily turned herself in to Beverly Hills police in response to the Oct. 22 warrant.

On Oct. 2, as has been widely reported, Love was booked by the Los Angeles police after allegedly smashing the windows of Barber’s house (a house she claimed on her website that he leases from her). She was charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance and released on $2,500 bond. Less than an hour later, as she recounted to People magazine last week, she called 911 from her home after taking 20milligrams of oxycodone ”to be knocked out.” Beverly Hills police and paramedics took her to the emergency room, and it was at that time that police said they found evidence of possession of the unprescribed painkillers, D.A. spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons told MTV. ”If she had prescriptions, we would not be charging illegal possession,” Gibbons told AP.

Last week, before a courtroom custody battle with O’Connor (mother of Love’s late husband, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain), the rocker/actress told People, ”I’m not on narcotics. I’m fine. I just want my daughter back.” Nonetheless, Gibbons told AP, the court would consider whether Love is eligible for a drug diversion program. Gibbons said bail was recommended at $20,000, but her lawyer, William Genego, told MTV that she was released on her own recognizance.

”It’s not much of a case, if a case at all,” Genego told MTV. ”It was literally like three pills. They were not found on her. She handed them over to the police that night and she had no concern in handing them over because she believed she had a prescription for them. Hopefully we’ll get proof of that, and they’ll take that into account.” Otherwise, she could face up to three years and eight months behind bars — or court-ordered probation and that drug diversion program, which could last a year or more.