Earlier this year, Frances Bean Cobain‘s ex-husband Isaiah Silva sued his former mother-in-law Courtney Love, Love’s manager Sam Lutfi, actor Ross Butler, and several others, alleging an elaborate murder conspiracy revolving around the contested ownership of Kurt Cobain‘s 1959 Martin D-18E guitar. Among the claims, which we obtained and summarized here, Silva says that on June 3, 2016, Lutfi, Butler, and one other man named Yan Yukhtman broke into the Los Angeles home he formerly shared with Bean Cobain, assaulted him, attempted to kidnap him, and held him hostage in an attempt to force him to surrender the guitar. Police arrived on scene after Silva’s friend and bandmate Phillip Munsey, who was there at the time, called 911. The call’s transcript was recently submitted as evidence in the case and reveals that Silva’s friend was very scared.
“Someone broke into my friend’s house,” Munsey opens the call. “They got three big o’ huge guys and I’m freaking out. Like they busted in the house. The alarm went off. They were threatening him.” He shares with the operator the home’s address and explains that the residence belongs to Bean Cobain. (She was still married to Silva at the time, but estranged.)
Later in the call, Munsey says the intruders claimed to be police officers, and says they told him to “get the fuck out of the house” while they forced Silva into a black SUV parked outside. Munsey attempted to block their path with his Toyota Matrix and ultimately confronted the individuals in the SUV to notify them police were coming. Silva’s response, “I’m fine,” and Lutfi’s response, “We’re on his side, Phil,” were both apparently audible on the 911 call and included in the transcript.
Silva has claimed in court filings that after police left, Lutfi forcibly confined him for over five hours inside the house, during which time he says Lutfi threatened him and his family in an attempt to force him to sign an agreement relinquishing Cobain’s guitar and any claims to the residence, spousal support, or Cobain’s trust. In his own declaration, Butler admitted visiting Silva’s house on the day in question, and that police arrived on scene, but denied committing any crimes, and described the incident as a calm and uneventful exchange.
Todd Eagan, a defense attorney for Lutfi and company, told Spin that the 911 call corroborates the claim that nothing happened. “The transcript and the recording itself reflect that Isaiah Silva said that he was fine, and that Mr. Munsey told the 911 operator that Silva was saying it’s a false alarm,” Eagan said. “This is consistent with the police dispatch report that concluded there was no crime at this time.”
In his divorce settlement, Silva ultimately retained ownership of the guitar, which he claims to have received as a wedding present. You can read the full transcript of Munsey’s 911 call below.
This post has been updated with comment from the defense’s legal team.