Courtney Love Has a Very Clear Memory of Being Addled on Drugs

"For some reason I don’t have the sense of self-preservation that other people do"

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Courtney Love's struggle with drugs and all-purpose self-destructiveness following the death of husband Kurt Cobain was well-documented by the press and, apparently, by Love herself. This is not something one would expect from a person who, by her own admission, first smoked crack as a joke and later turned ''kind of psychotic,' but Love shows off a highly-specific (or maybe just highly embellished) memory for people, places, songs, and substances in an interview with The Fix, a new blog devoted to addiction treatment and recovery from former Radar editor Maer Roshan. Some of Love's more memorable--and detailed--recollections.

On military hardware unseen and threatening letters unsent following Cobain's death

"Lisa Leveridge, my old guitar player, found a fucking five-page letter I wrote during this period to Stella McCartney. It was completely illegible—just filled with this crazy, paranoid gibberish. I mean, I don't even know Stella McCartney! Thank God I never sent it. I went through some really crazy stages, but thankfully I never went completely over the edge. I wasn’t seeing helicopters and tanks or anything like that."

On the good advice Gwyneth Paltrow once gave her

"For some reason I don’t have the sense of self-preservation that other people do, which hasn’t always won me a lot of friends. But as Gwyneth once said to me, 'Once you’re A-list, you’re always A-list,' and I try to remember that. "

On the first time she used heroin

"The first time I tried smack I was about 16, I guess. It was a horrific experience. At the time, I was working at a dance hall in Taiwan, trying to earn money, so I could afford an apartment in San Francisco. I was utterly broke, so I was sleeping in a bed with a bunch of Brazilian dancers. I got crabs, and I had to get up every night to dance to Gloria Gaynor and Billy Idol's "Rebel, Rebel." After a while, I was like, “Get me the fuck out of here.” All these other dancers were constantly nodding out. We all had to wear numbers on our dress. But I had no money, and they were holding my passport, so I was kind of stuck."

On the dinner party that started her 'whole heroin drama'

"When I came back to California, I tried hard to stay sober. But one night, my boyfriend at the time, who was working for Ben Stiller, took me to this star-studded party at Charlie Sheen’s house in Malibu. Tom Cruise was there, and Madonna, and my friend Jennifer Finch, who used to be the lead singer of L7. At some point Jennifer—who has been very clean for 16 years now—convinced me to shoot up. “Come on, everyone’s doing it." So that’s when my whole heroin drama began."

On her three day involuntary commitment at Bellevue following a 2004 suicide attempt

"For 72 bloody hours. I was going crazy the whole time because they don’t allow you to smoke there. And then one night they wheeled in two African-American hermaphrodites on a gurney with their faces smeared with feces, who were both talking to Satan. That’s when I really freaked out."

On Lynn Hirschberg, the journalist who profiled Cobain and Love for Vanity Fair

"She is famous for doing hatchet pieces on other women and blow-jobs on famous Jewish men. She’s constantly falling in love with celebrities like Rick Rubin, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Weinstein, and Jerry Seinfeld.  In fact, she was fired from Vanity Fair because she sent Jerry Seinfeld an article she had written about him and allowed him to edit it before it appeared in the magazine. She’s a monster—that’s all I can say. I don’t have hate in my heart for anybody, but she’s more responsible for my husband’s death than anyone.


On her approach to being pregnant

"I used heroin in the first three weeks of my pregnancy—but so fucking what!? I didn’t even know I was pregnant at the time! I also took a few puffs on a cigarette when my belly was out to here, but most of those nine months, I walked around with nicotine patches all over my body. When you have a baby inside you, you’re not going to do drugs or something stupid."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.