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Family fights release of Cobain photos

Associated Press

SEATTLE – Kurt Cobain’s widow and daughter are urging a Seattle judge not to release death-scene photos and records that a lawsuit claims will prove the Nirvana frontman was murdered more than 20 years ago.

Superior Court Judge Theresa Doyle is set to hear arguments today over whether to proceed with a trial after Richard Lee, who runs a Seattle public access TV show, sued the city and the Seattle Police Department for the material he says will show Cobain didn’t die of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1994, the Seattle Times reported.

The city is arguing the material should stay sealed for the sake of the family’s privacy. Cobain’s widow, rocker and actress Courtney Love, and their daughter have written to the court about the physical and psychological impact the release of the graphic photos would have on their lives.

“I have had to cope with many personal issues because of my father’s death. Coping with even the possibility that those photographs could be made public is very difficult,” Frances Bean Cobain wrote. “Further sensationalizing it through the release of these pictures would cause us indescribable pain.”

She wrote that she already faces harassment from fans “obsessed” with her father, and fears that could get worse.

One fan broke into her California home and waited three days for her to return from vacation because he “believed my father’s soul had entered my body,” Frances Bean Cobain wrote in her declaration.

According to their statements, neither woman has seen the photos of Cobain’s body.

In 1995, Love got court permission to keep Cobain’s suicide note, and another note used for handwriting analysis, out of the public eye.

Seattle police did release two previously unseen images from the suicide scene last year. One showed a box containing drug paraphernalia, a spoon and what look like needles on the floor next to half a cigarette and sunglasses. The other showed the paraphernalia box closed, next to cash, a cigarette pack and a wallet that appeared to show Cobain’s identification.

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