Courtney Love is a lot of things — famous grunge widow, tabloid darling, runaway celebrity train wreck. But as San Diego attorney Rhonda Holmes found out, Love is not a Twitter defamer. Not legally, anyway. And while it’s been nearly two decades since her Golden Globe-nominated performance in “The People Vs. Larry Flynt,” Love is no acting slouch, either.
“She was very smart. That is the one thing that I was drawn to,” Holmes, 48, said of her former client. “And from what I can see from the way she testified and the fact that she was nominated for a Golden Globe, she is a phenomenal actress.”
On Friday, Holmes lost her $8 million “Twible” case against the flamboyant musician. But while a Los Angeles jury determined that Love did not defame Holmes in a 2010 tweet that said Holmes had been “bought off,” Holmes did pull vindication from the jaws of legal defeat. The 12-member jury voted unanimously that Love did issue a false tweet about Holmes. They also voted unanimously that Love intended the tweet to be viewed as fact.
Holmes may have lost the legal battle, but she feels she won the cyber war. And against a formidable flamethrower, too.
“Someone like Courtney has the ability to reach a lot of people, so when she lied about me taking a bribe, it was more important than someone without any notoriety saying it,” said Holmes, a partner in the San Diego-based Gordon & Holmes law firm. “It was a terrific vindication to find there was clear and convincing evidence that the things she said about me were false.”
The saga started in 2008, when Love hired Holmes’ firm to pursue fraud claims on behalf of the estate of her late husband — Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. The two women bonded over a shared tragedy (Like Cobain, Holmes’ husband committed suicide), and Holmes thought they had a good case. Love fired the firm a few months later in order to hire a different attorney. When she wanted to hire them back, Holmes said, they were caught up in another case and couldn’t represent her.
There was also the matter of a stipulation that Love refrain from abusing substances while she was with the firm. A stipulation that did not go over well with Love, who has been known to overindulge in a substance or two.
The tweet hit the fan in 2010. At the trial, Love told jurors she meant to send the tweet as a direct message to a fellow Twitter user, and that she didn’t intend for it to go public. (She deleted it shortly after it was sent.) And if Holmes is disappointed that her former client was able to convince the jury that she was a victim of her own cyber stupidity, she isn’t surprised that Love pulled it off.
“I did respect her in some senses. She is a survivor.”
ALSO: Courtney's putting out a web series..?
Oblig where-the-fuck-is-that-memoir-and-album gripe. In all seriousness tho, congrats Courtney! The tweet was stupid, but not worth an $8 million loss.