May 1, 2015

Courtney Love being sued by ghostwriter of her memoir


Courtney Love as Elle Dallas on Empire. Via YouTube

Courtney Love as Elle Dallas on Empire. Via YouTube

Back on April 5, The Telegraph ran a profile of Courtney Love, around the induction of Nirvana into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which included a short paragraph, without much elaboration:

She recently rejected her own ghostwritten autobiography, sending it back to Harper Collins because, she says, “it’s like me jacked on coffee and sugar in a really bad mood. I said keep your bloody money. I’d rather keep my friends.”

As seems to happen to Love, the story has gotten more complicated. The New York Times reported that the ghostwriter of said autobiography, originally scheduled to be published in the fall of 2012, has sued her.

Courtney Love, a founding member of the band Hole and the widow of Kurt Cobain, has been sued by Anthony Bozza, the biographer she hired in 2010 to help write her memoir for William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. The suit was filed Friday in Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In the filing, first reported by TMZ, Mr. Bozza accused Ms. Love of failing to complete payment for his work since he delivered a 123,375-word manuscript in January 2014. While he acknowledges receiving $100,000 for the project, Mr. Bozza is seeking an additional $200,000 in damages based on the minimum $200,000 he was guaranteed from Ms. Love’s publishing advance in a 2010 contract and additional potential royalties from book sales.

Bozza’s lawyer wrote in the lawsuit that Love refused to deliver the manuscript, and that, earlier, “Love’s frequent unexplained absences meant that she did not make herself reasonably available to Bozza for months at a time.”

None of this is too surprising. The memoir, tentatively titled The Girl With the Most Cake, has been troubling Love for a while. Paper Magazine interviewed Love in 2014, and she told them,

“It’s a disaster,” Love says of the current draft of her book. “A nightmare. I never wanted to write a book in my entire life. It just sort of happened. And I have a co-writer, but it’s just not working. One of my rules about the book is that it has to stop in 2006. What happens from 2006 on in the book is my personal business. I’ve been discreet from that time on, and I want to keep it that way.”

Still, it’s all a long way from Bozza’s touching optimism when he tweeted back in February, “The book I’ve written with @Courtney is in the anteroom, waiting to come out, and it’s possibly the greatest thing I’ll ever do with anybody.”


Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.