Rome is known as Kurt Cobain's first suicide attempt but it was Courtney and Cali's first attempt at killing him.
The following excerpt is from website Justice For Kurt all credit goes to them.Kurt Cobain lived for twenty seven years, some of which were blighted by excruciating stomach pains that sometimes drove him to consider suicide. But He survived. He managed to get treatment for that problem. He survived.
Within hours of Courtney Love and Michael DeWitt joining Kurt in Rome, hours in which Kurt argued with Courtney, and finally decided to leave her, Kurt was fighting for his life in a hospital in Rome.
Courtney's response to this was to tell Select magazine: "If he thinks he can get away from me that easily, he can forget it. I'll follow him through hell."
She said this not within the context of a failed suicide, but within the context of an argument in which he told her he was leaving her. It is reminiscent of a recorded threat by Courtney to Victoria Clarke" I will haunt you to fucking hell, for the rest of your life."
Tom Grant believes that this overdose was an attempt by Courtney to murder Kurt. The overdose was due to his ingesting Rohypnol and champagne, which Grant believed Courtney administered to Kurt without his knowledge.
Wallace and Halperin mention this in their book and then ask why Courtney would have called the ambulance whilst Kurt was unconscious, rather than leaving him to die?
In an interview with Robert Hilburn on April 4th 1994, Courtney talked about the overdose in Rome. Hillburn reported: Love had flown to Rome early last month to spend a few days with Cobain after he cancelled part of a European concert tour, caused by illness. She woke in the hotel room to find him unconscious, having taken some of her prescription tranquilizers and alcohol, she says; " He was dead......legally dead, he was in a coma for 20 hours...on life support. They thought he was never going to come out of it." (L.A. Times April 10th 1994).
Maybe Courtney did leave him until she thought he was dead. Her above statement looks to me like amazed disbelief that he was not dead. Maybe the answer is that obvious.
Reports came through that Cobain had been moved from the Umberto Prima Hospital - allegedly at Courtney Love's insistence - to the American Hospital. Many thought that, in the state he was in, Cobain would not be moved anywhere unless doctors at the Umberto had said they could do nothing more for him. A doctor at the Umberto Prima said: "Cobain was in a grave condition when he left here." (Melody Maker's March 12th 1994 edition)
How wise was it to have Kurt transferred at this point? Could this have been a desperate attempt to set-back/prevent his recovery? I know it was supposed to be for security reasons, but I question this excuse.
On March 3rd, just a few hours before she met Kurt in Rome, Courtney did an interview with Select magazine, the writer said that during this interview Love was popping Rohypnol: There is a box of Rohypnol on the big mahogany table in the middle of Courtney Love's London hotel room, among the scattered papers and cigarette boxes. "Look, I know this is a controlled substance," she smiles as she empties one of those fizzy stomach upset powders into a tumbler of water and washes back a Rohypnol. "I got it from my doctor. It's like Valium. You know, fuck that Prozac stuff. I'm not a depressive, I tried it for like five or six days, and by the sixth day I started seeing tracers like when you're on acid..." (Select's May 1994 edition).In Melody Maker's March 12th 1994 edition there was a two page article on Kurt's overdose. Everett True had reviewed that weeks singles with Courtney just prior to her flying to Rome. True reported that during this review, Courtney said: "This reminds me of when I take those dihydrocodeines I get over here in London, with Rohypnol and champagne." Everett True ended his article by saying: "If Kurt Cobain wants to take Rohypnol, drink champagne and go into a coma, it's up to him (and his wife, presumably,) and no-one else."
So, Courtney had the Rohypnol, and experience of that method of using it, at a time that was crucial. Everett, where is your compassion?
But was it up to Kurt? It is possible that he wasn't aware that he had been administered it. Rohypnol is tasteless when dissolved in drink, that is why it is called the date-rape drug. One tablet in a drink is enough to confuse and disorientate a person.
It was claimed that Kurt ordered champagne and requested for a bell boy to fill a prescription for Rohypnol, the prescription was Courtney's. How do we know Kurt ordered them? Contrary to Brite's claim that Jackie was the Nanny in Rome, it was reported at the time that Love, Frances Bean and Cali joined Kurt in Rome. If these were ordered by phone, then DeWitt, aka Cali, could have ordered them, and Kurt could have been oblivious to it.
The story as it unfolds in the Rossi & Brite books is that Kurt was acting the romantic, ordering champagne, providing flowers, sending out for a prescription. Courtney fell asleep. She woke up between 3-4 in the morning and found Kurt unconscious, with blood coming from his nose. He had a wad of cash in one hand, and a note he had written in the other, he was wearing a brown corduroy jacket. (Queen of Noise page 187 / The "Real" Story page 164).
This does not make sense at all. We know Kurt wrote a note, nearly all sources agree on that. The only example I can find of Kurt's explanation of this note is in Cobain by the editors of Rolling Stone, page 90, where a Gold Mountain employee said: "Kurt insisted it was not a suicide note. He just took all of his and Courtney's money and was going to run away and disappear." In the article as it was originally published in Rolling Stone's June 2 1994 edition it reports that this Gold Mountain employee was Janet Billig.
There seems to be a problem here. I will always accept Kurt's reasons and doubt Courtney's. On that basis then, why would Kurt write a note, prepare to leave, get the cash together, and then take an overdose? The two actions are contradictory. The other point is that Brite wrote that Courtney woke up between 3-4 in the morning and found him unconcious - but the ambulance wasn't called until 6:30am.
This incident was described at the time as an accident/mistake/inadvertant overdose. A convenient mistake/accident/etc, which just happened when Kurt was leaving, running away. A mistake which involved Rohypnol and champagne, substances Kurt did not use but that Courtney was in the habit of using in combination and had at her disposal, substances notorious for their use to incapacitate victims. I don't believe this was a mistake for one minute. And I believe Kurt's reasons, so I can only consider the possibility that Grant is right, and it was attempted murder.
It was only after Kurt's death, that it was claimed this was a suicide attempt.The accounts are a mess, we only have slivers of information which come from reliable sources. Courtney's and DeWitt's can be discarded. All I can do is try to piece together what might have happened using the facts I have. So the following is hypothetical, a possibility, an opinion.
Kurt wasn't attempting suicide. The note Kurt wrote was a note saying he was leaving Courtney, running away. On these foundations Kurt didn't take any Rohypnol that he was aware of.
1) Kurt argued with Courtney, he told her he was leaving, both her, and the tour he was on.
2) Someone ordered champagne and for the prescription to be delivered. But this might not have been Kurt. Kurt might not have known about this.
3) Kurt didn't drink alcohol, this is witnessed by people who toured with him. Just one Rohypnol was dissolved in a small amount of champagne, which was then diluted with water, maybe in Kurt's famous bottle of Evian water.
The perpetrators of this act have enough experience of using Rohypnol to know what they are doing. They provide just enough of the drug to render him incapable of leaving. Safe in the knowledge that Kurt won't get very far, they leave the room, possibly to decide what to do next.
According to Rossi, page 186, the suite Kurt had in the Excelsior Hotel had an extra bedroom for the nanny. Maybe they go there.
4) Because Courtney wasn't in the room, Kurt wrote a note saying that he was leaving. He got ready to leave.
5) The drug took effect before he could get away.
6) The perpetrators then returned.
7) Kurt was incapacitated. Why did he have a bloody nose?
8) The perpetrators forcefully administered Rohypnol and champagne, Kurt struggled, and in the process he injured his nose. When a person is forcefully administered liquid, their noses are pinched to force them to gulp air/liquid to breathe.
"She saw the top of Kurt's blonde head whipping furiously back and forth", (Poppy Brite, page 169). This was Courtney's description of Kurt supposedly being man-handled into an ambulance. Are you sure you aren't getting confused, Courtney? You obviously saw this somewhere, are you playing with the truth?
9) The perpetrators wait until 6.30 am before they raise the alarm, by this time they believe that he is dead.
This is hypothetical, but it shows a sequence of events which makes sense. Provides answers to the contradictions that otherwise stand. Tom Grant doesn't have the answers to everything, and neither does he claim to. He does have an informed opinion though, and many people believe him. This will not go away. There are serious and legitimate reasons to reopen this case.
Rome was never investigated as attempted murder, it should have been, maybe it still can. Kurt's death must be re investigated. The patterns evident in Rome/Lake Washington Blvd cannot be ignored.
Kurt survived. Dr. Galletta who was responsible for Kurt's treatment, issued the following statement: "Cobain doesn't know what happened to him. He hasn't gained complete control of his memory. When he emerged from the coma, he was very hungry and asked for a strawberry milkshake!" (Melody Maker March 12th 1994.)
Victims of Rohypnol often don't remember what happened to them, and their memory comes back at different rates, sometimes remaining lost for years.
In Dave Thompson's book, Never Fade Away, published 1994 (page 11), Thompson mentioned an internet posting by Kurt, where he said: "I'm still pretty freaked over the Rome thing, and need some time to rest and get over it. You'd think they could make a good milkshake, but no."
I would be freaked if my intended plans suddenly came to a halt, and I ended up in hospital for no reason that I could fathom. In Rome, Kurt was on the verge of running away, next thing he finds himself in hospital and he doesn't know why.
Sandford mentions this same posting (page 323), but he omitted the above section, maybe by 1996 (when Sandford's book was published) it wasn't convenient to include the above, Kurt had a healthy propensity for milkshakes and breakfasts, not really in keeping with a suicidal man, a bit inconvenient.
The fact is that as time passes certain bits of information which pertain to Kurt are lost whilst facts/evidence supporting Courtney's claims are constantly evolving, miraculously appearing. These unnamed/Courtney claims are an insult to Kurt Cobain.Victims of Rohypnol/date rape drug are usually unconscious for at least 10 hours and may only remember events in flashbacks over the next few days. In 1998, Rohypnol's manufacturer introduced an anti-abuse mechanism, in which a bright blue liquid is produced once the drug is dissolved. (London Evening Standard, 20th August 1999).
If this was an attempt to murder Kurt, and Kurt survived, what on earth could Kurt be thinking and feeling? Shocked, confused, scared? Probably not even remembering exactly what had transpired.
He did try to leave Courtney, after his return to Seattle. He certainly contacted his lawyer Rosemary Carroll asking her to write a new Will, excluding Courtney. He kept several guns for his protection, until the police confiscated them on March 18th.
The friction within their relationship escalated to intolerable levels in the days proceeding Rome. Why?
If it was just a tiff, as Courtney claimed, well that's no big deal.
If it was a suicide attempt, and Courtney was concerned, she would have told friends, to ensure they kept an eye on him, she didn't do this.
Why did he return to Seattle and remain under the same roof as Courtney? There are witnesses to support the fact Kurt was trying to leave. Once again, see the Broomfield/Nanny interview, the March 18th police report, and the Peter Cleary statement .
But why didn't he just physically walk?
He'd just come out of a coma, he had been ill and exhausted even before that happened. I don't know. Maybe he still hadn't yet gained complete memory of what happened in Rome.
"The last image I have of him, which in the light of the tragedy now seems pathetic, is of a young man playing with the little girl (Frances). He did not seem like a young man who wanted to end it all." Dr. Galletta, the doctor who treated Kurt in Rome.If Rome was a failed murder attempt by Courtney and DeWitt what on earth could they be thinking and feeling? Scared? Worried that Kurt would recover his memory?
Courtney and DeWitt would need to control the situation, see nanny interview .
The previously mentioned internet posting by Kurt occurred on March 29th. So on that day Kurt was still "freaked" about Rome. I would conclude from this that he still didn't understand, at that point, exactly what had transpired. He may have had vague, confusing recollections/flashbacks that he couldn't quite understand.
If Rome was a failed murder attempt by Courtney and DeWitt, there would be no way that Kurt would be allowed to regain his memory.
Courtney travelled to L.A. just prior to this posting leaving Kurt in Seattle. Her absence would imply that Courtney was willing to leave Kurt to his own devices.
Courtney was absent from the Seattle residence, but conveniently DeWitt was not.
When Kurt returned to Seattle on April 2nd DeWitt was there, and had been all along. He could have been responsible for deflating the tires on Kurt's car.
This is yet another failing on the part of the Seattle Police, why didn't they investigate the flat tires ? surely the fact that all 4 tires were flat was suspicious? I could understand one tire being flat, but all four? No.
Also, Courtney cancelled Kurt's credit card once she knew he was back in Seattle. So now Kurt had no car, or use of this card, should he choose to leave Seattle, or do what he wanted to do. What gave Courtney the right to do this? It would be convenient for murderer's, give them control.
I choose to believe Kurt, when he said Rome wasn't a suicide attempt. I also believe him when he said he didn't have a drug problem, (at the time the "intervention" attempts took place). I then have to ask myself what really happened in Rome? And I find myself of the opinion that the Rome incident was attempted murder and on this foundation, Kurt could not be allowed to regain his memory.
If Courtney and DeWitt had both been in L.A. at this time (April 2nd-4th), this scenario wouldn't exist. But the fact is that Courtney had a nanny travel to L.A. with Frances, but she chose to leave DeWitt at the house in Seattle, so Kurt was never really free of Courtney and DeWitt's influence.
Between the dates of March 3rd and April 3rd/early 4th 1994, when I believe Kurt was murdered, Courtney and DeWitt had control over Kurt.
There are a few instances when this control was precarious. Kurt was trying to change his lifestyle, and he didn't play to Courtney's rules. These instances were:
1. (March 4th) When in Rome he attempted to leave her/run away. He ended up in hospital fighting for his life, and he didn't know why.
2. (March 22nd) When he insisted on returning the Lexus. At this time Kenney described Courtney as popping pills and "unstable".
3. (around the end of March) When he refused intervention. At this time Sepedjian described Courtney as "frantic" and "screaming".
4. (April 1st) When he chose to leave rehab. At this time Joe Mama described Courtney as "freaked" and "scared".
5. (After the Rome incident) When he talked about divorce and requested a new will excluding Courtney. He died before he got the chance to sign it.
Courtney didn't want Kurt to have control.
It scared her.
Not because he was suicidal, he wasn't, and not even solely because she stood to lose everything if he signed his Will and divorced her.
But because she stood the risk of Kurt remembering that she and DeWitt tried to murder him in Rome.
When David Haig met Kurt (after Rome) in a downtown hotel he found him tense and emotional, and weeping openly when discussing his marriage. Kurt also complained to him of partial memory loss, insomnia, fatigue and "a buzzing in the top of my head". (Sandford page 321) It is interesting that Haig made no mention of Kurt looking drugged-up/depressed/suicidal. His observations of Kurt are more in line with what one would expect of a classic victim of Rohypnol induced assault. This is further substantiated by references to Kurt wearing his hunting hat at seemingly inappropriate places , indoors, after Rome.
"One could wonder about impairment of judgement", (after Rome) Dr. David Bailey, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California. (Sandford page 321)
On March 29th 1994, Kurt didn't have his complete memory back with regards to Rome. Within 6 days he was dead. He never got the chance to remember exactly what happened.
MARCH 7TH - MARCH 30TH After being hospitalized on March 4th, Kurt is released from the American Hospital in Rome after 3 days. To read about what happened in Rome, please check out The Rome Incident - By Frances Barnett .
Kurt returned to Seattle on March 12th with Courtney.
Seattle police were called to the Lake Washington Blvd home on March 18th . Courtney claimed Kurt was suicidal. When the police arrived at the house, Kurt told them in very plain and easy to understand terms that he was not suicidal, but that he was trying to keep away from Courtney. This can be seen in the report. Courtney then retracted her claim to the police that Kurt had threatened suicide. The police give her a warning about the false call, confiscate Kurt's guns for his protection, and leave.
According to some sources, a fight about a new Lexus vehicle took place between Kurt and Courtney on March 22nd. She bought it, Kurt didn't like it and insisted she return it.
According to Grant, Courtney called one of their attorneys, Rosemary Carroll and told her to get the "meanest, most vicious divorce lawyer" she could find. Courtney also asked Rosemary if their prenuptial agreement could be voided.
Kurt called Rosemary too. He hadn't completed his Will. He told Rosemary he wanted Courtney taken out of it. According to the nanny that worked there during these final weeks, "there was way too much Will talk". Courtney seemed to be obsessed about Kurt's Will.
On March 25th, Courtney stages an intervention. Dylan Carson, Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic, guitarist Pat Smear and three of Nirvana's managers came to the house and took turns talking to him for five hours. Grant says that some of the people at this "intervention" were the same people Kurt had done drugs with . Some probably weren't exactly clean themselves at the time.
Courtney left Seattle for the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills the next day on March 26th.
According to Dave Thompson's "Never Fade Away" book, Kurt got on the internet (America Online) and posted the following message: "I'm still pretty freaked over the Rome thing, and need some time to rest and get over it. You'd think they could make a good milkshake, but no." This was posted on March 29th.
On March 30th, Kurt and his best friend Dylan Carlson, go to Stan Baker Sports and purchased a shotgun . Kurt told Dylan he was afraid of intruders at the house. The shotgun was a Remington Model 11 20-gauge , set up for light load. This is what gun dealers often recommend for home protection because the shot won't penetrate walls and endanger those on the other side. Kurt took the shotgun to his house so it would be there when he got back from rehab.
It should be noted that Carlson was at the intervention just 5 days earlier. He later told Grant that he didn't believe Kurt was suicidal, otherwise he wouldn't have agreed to buy this shotgun for him. More documented quotes like this from Dylan and other friends & family can be read in Kurt Was Not Suicidal by Frances Barnett.
Kurt then leaves Seattle and goes to the Exodus Recovery Center, a detox clinic in Los Angeles, where he stayed for about 2 days.