LOS ANGELES — On the third day of Courtney Love Cobain’s defamation trial, attorney Rhonda J. Holmes, who filed the lawsuit, took the stand for the entire day and underwent the longest questioning of the four witnesses who have testified thus far. Holmes was at the center of an allegedly defamatory Tweet by Love claiming the attorney – whom the singer had retained Holmes to pursue a fraud case against the executors of her late husband Kurt Cobain’s estate — had been “bought off.”
As to Holmes’ feelings about Love, she told the court, “I admired her very much. I thought she had accomplished a lot in terms of her acting career. She was very articulate, very bright.”
Love remained intensely focused upon Holmes during the attorney’s testimony, leaning forward with her chin resting on folded hands, occasionally rocking back and forth.
Questioned about one of the main issues in the case, whether or not Holmes had “disappeared,” as Love claimed, or was fired, Holmes told Love’s attorney Matt Bures that she was fired and that the message had been relayed to her by two of Love’s assistants and attorney Keith Fink.
Asked if Love had fired Holmes herself, she said, “In one phone call, she made it very clear that she was no longer happy with my services, I was not working at the speed she wanted me to, she preferred Mr. Fink’s style and that, things of that nature … it was pretty, uh, clear.” She added, “She did not use the words ‘you’re fired,’ that is true. I did make that inference from this conversation.”
Using emails to demonstrate the friendliness that had previously existed between Love and Holmes, Bures showed the court an email in which Holmes asked Love if she had been receiving her voicemails. Love replied that she had not, and thought Holmes had disappeared. Love signed her email with several “x”s and wrote, “You’re a goddess no matter what.” Holmes responded and signed hers, “Peace. xoxoxo.”
Asked by Bures, if she typically signs emails that way, Holmes said, “Not anymore, that’s for sure. I’m not particularly proud, but I did it. I used poetic license more than I should have.” While there was some laughter in the courtroom when Holmes gave this answer, Love did not crack a smile.
Throughout her testimony, Holmes maintained, “I never disappeared. I was very well immersed in the case.”
Holmes’ attorney, Barry Langberg, showed an email to the court in which Holmes wrote to Love, “When I heard you had terminated me and did not want to hear anything from me, I had no choice but to step aside and cooperate in the transition to whomever will do the job to your satisfaction.” Love’s attorney, however, showed an email that Holmes had sent to another of Love’s assistants, Sheena Datt, in which Holmes wrote, “In your recent text to me, you indicated Ms. Love would really like to understand what happened (with my employment status I presume).” She goes on to explain why she had been delayed in filing a fraud complaint on behalf of Love, citing that she (Holmes) had been hacked and that drafts had been deleted from her computer.
The trial is scheduled to continue on Tuesday.