August 18, 2010:
Frances Bean Cobain, the only child of the first couple of Grunge, Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain and Hole’s Courtney Love Cobain, turned 18 years old on August 18th.
It’s a major milestone in any teenager’s life, but for Frances, it’s a whole lot more...
She’s the sole beneficiary of a trust fund that was set up after her father's death in 1994. So on her 18th birthday she took control of that large multi-million dollar inheritance!
Frances Bean has kept a relatively low profile for much of her life, despite her parents being two of the biggest rock stars of all time. She is fiercely private, and those who surround her act as her armor.
Frances was born at Cedars Sinai-Medical Center in Los Angeles on August 18, 1992. And she was born into controversy. Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services took Frances from her parents when she was only two weeks old while they investigated claims that Courtney did heroin during her pregnancy. The case was eventually dismissed.
Frances was only 20 months old when her father committed suicide in their Seattle Home on April 8, 1994. Since then, she has spent a good deal of her childhood living in Southern California.
Frances drew a lot of publicity two years ago when she threw a suicide-themed Sweet 16 birthday party at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip. News reports came down on Courtney for not only allowing, but paying for the party.
This all occurred within weeks of a controversial Elle Magazine shoot that featured Frances in her first photo spread. The shoot featured celebrity offspring wearing the clothes of their rock 'n' roll parents. But Frances caused a stir because she wore the blue pajamas that her father wore when he married her mother. She also had on his trademark brown cardigan.
At the time she reportedly told the magazine: "He got married to my mom in them in Hawaii in 1992 so I thought it'd be cute if I wore them today."
Just like so many of her peers, Frances uses social media. She has Facebook and twitter accounts under pseudonyms.
During a recent tweet to a friend on July 27th, Frances hinted about her up coming birthday:
“F--- It. 8.18.10 we made a commitment”.
There's even a Facebook fan page dedicated to her. And quite regularly someone uploads pictures that appear to be taken by Frances herself. From the photos you can see she's a perfect blend of her parents. She has her dad's striking wide, blue eyes and her mother's lips and cheekbones.
In early July, Frances debuted a collection of sketches at L.A.’s La Luz de Jesus gallery. She showed the artwork under the pseudonym “Fiddle Tim.” The ghoulish, dark and distorted figures drew critical praise and quickly sold out.
It also got the attention of her mom, who took to Twitter on July 18th to tell the world how proud she was of Frances.
She tweeted, “but anyway im proud of you for being you, you chose a skater gallery, a place ive always been fond of for the most subversive la stuff.”
Social media is often the only way that Courtney and Frances communicate. Their relationship is complicated. Very complicated.
Their mother-daughter struggles have been well documented over the years: Courtney’s admitted drug use, her losing custody of Frances several times, only to regain it after stints in rehab and court appearances.
But the latest battle came in December. They had a fight and Frances took out a temporary restraining order against her mother. Courtney then lost custody of Frances to Kurt’s mom, Wendy O’Connor and his sister, Kimberly Cobain.
Courtney claims she just wants her daughter home again. But potentially adding more stress to their fragile relationship is the battle over Frances' multi-million dollar inheritance. The trust fund was set up three years after her father's death.
"The purpose in creating the trust would be to protect Frances Bean Cobain from creditors or future ex-spouses," said Robin Sax, Legal Analyst. "Having access to this kind of money at her age was something that the court was probably trying to protect her against when they created the trust in 1997."
But tensions escalated when The Seattle based wealth management firm that manages France’s inheritance recently got a judge to freeze Courtney out of the trust. Reports indicate that millions of dollars has gone missing from the trust. Where did the money go? That’s the million-dollar question. Lawyers on both sides are currently hashing that out.
Courtney continues to try and reach out to her daughter. And just like so many parents of 18 year old children, she is hoping Frances will go to college-- a point she made to her daughter on July 18th via twitter: “i do hope your planning on coming back north east and illuminating your life with the benefit of an education, in fact i do insist on it.”