LOS ANGELES — As she did last week, Courtney Love cried in court this afternoon when speaking about her relationship with daughter Frances Bean.
Asked what if felt like in 2008 to have attorney Rhonda Holmes say that Love’s fraud case against people managing her late husband Kurt Cobain’s estate had merit —a subject that made the singer weep in court yesterday — her voice became louder as she cried.
“I wasn’t wearing a tin-foil hat anymore,” she sobbed, presumably referring to a common caricature of paranoid schizophrenics. “Mostly I could go into my daughter’s room and she could talk about boys again and have me back as a mother. It was the biggest deal ever.”
It Love’s second visit to the witness stand and the fifth day of full testimony in a defamation lawsuit against Love, filed by Holmes, her former lawyer, after the rock star alleged in a 2010 Tweet that the San Diego attorney had been “bought off.”
When the testimony turned to the Tweet at the center of the lawsuit, Love called herself a “computer retard” at the time and had intended to send a Direct Message. Love said the reason she used Rhonda’s full name and location in the Tweet was because she wanted blogger Carmela Kelly, whom she said was the intended recipient of the DM (along with a person Love has only identified as “Steve something”) to locate Holmes, get a quote from her and find out why she “vanished on” Love. When Holmes’ attorney Barry Langberg brought out Love’s deposition, however, he pointed out that Love had said within that testimony that she told Kelly she’d thought Holmes had been bought off before having written the Tweet. Love fired back that she had not given Kelly the precise detail that Holmes was based in San Diego, and that she did so to make it easier to find Holmes.
Asked to describe what she meant with the term “bought off,” Love said, “I didn’t want to think the worst that someone had gotten to her because she didn’t seem like that kind of person.” Love expressed that she had not intended harm to Holmes with her Tweet. “I wanted her to come back. I didn’t know what happened to her.”
Last week, Holmes testified that she had been told by one of Love’s assistants that the singer had instructed her assistants to terminate her. Love disputed that assertion, claiming that she never fired Holmes and simply wondered where Holmes was. “At one point, I thought she was dead.”
Love said Holmes had been her “savior and white knight up until this trial,” and maintained that she truly never understood why Holmes “left.” Langberg produced a May 2009 email Holmes sent to Love’s assistant Sheena Datt (with a directive to forward it to Love) in which Holmes wrote that she had not quit, but felt she had been terminated; Love said she did not see that email until the day before her deposition for this lawsuit (filed in May 2011).
When Langberg asked Love about testimony last week by the singer’s former assistant Jessica Labrie (currently involved in litigation with Love in New York federal court), who said that Love issued a second Tweet, about a year later, very similar to the one at the center of the lawsuit, Love claimed, “Jessica lied so much on this stand. There are a few things she said that were not true. As to a second tweet, was that a lie? I’m pretty sure.”
Love did concede that her concern for damage that could be caused to Holmes as a result of the Tweet is the reason why she took it down “a few minutes later.” But she also said that her words were not “reckless,” and “that is for a jury to decide.”
This morning, Steve Lee, a forensic investigator and specialist, testified, in response to Love’s attorney Matt Bures’ question about the potential impact and dissemination of the Tweet which spawned the lawsuit, that he did an “exhaustive search” of both the Internet and archived Tweets, and that no evidence remains of the original Tweet.
“In my opinion, the Tweet doesn’t exist today. My opinion is the Tweet’s existence was ephemeral. By that, I mean I can’t find the Tweet. I can’t find a Retweet of the Tweet.” He added that the Tweet “existed for a very short time and that it does not appear to have been Retweeted. “I can’t find a Retweet nor can I find a mention of it until May 26, 2011 (the day the lawsuit was filed).
“After that time, I can find many, many mentions of it.”
He also quoted a 2009 study that said if a Tweet isn’t Retweeted in the first hour, it has a “very miniscule chance of ever being Retweeted again.”
Both sides are expected to give their closing arguments in the case tomorrow afternoon.