The late Nirvana frontman's daughter reportedly earns more than $95,000 a month from his estate
Frances Bean Cobain, the only child of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, is opening up about the complicated relationship she has with money after inheriting her late father’s fortune.
The 26-year-old musician appeared on a recent episode of the RuPaul: What’s the Tee? podcast, where she revealed that she feels “guilt” over the wealth because she “didn’t earn it.”
“My relationship to money is different because I didn’t earn it. And so it’s almost like this big, giant loan that I’ll never get rid of,” Frances said. “I have an almost foreign relationship to it or guilt because it feels like money from somebody that I’ve never met, let alone earned myself.”
Kurt, who fronted the band Nirvana, died by suicide nearly 25 years ago on April 5, 1994. According to court documents related to Frances’ divorce that were obtained by PEOPLE in September 2017 and first reported by The Blast, she earns more than $95,000 a month from her late father’s publicity rights.
As a self-described “trust-fund baby,” Frances said she struggled at first to learn how to manage her money. That’s changed over the years for Frances, who got sober in 2016.
“I’d say in the last two years, I’ve taken real accountability at looking at every little thing and talking with the people in charge of my money,” she admitted on RuPaul’s podcast. “And also realizing that you don’t have to live lavishly to live well. … The one way that I was shown how to live was to…live beyond your means and live in excess. It took me stepping away from that and getting sober in order to realize that no matter how much money you think you have, it’s not permanent.”
Elsewhere on the podcast, Frances — who jokingly referred to herself as “the O.G. Blue Ivy” — spoke about the complicated relationship she has with her mother, 54-year-old Love.
“When my mom is on a right and healthy path, she is one of the most fulfilling, beautiful, intelligent and kind people I ever met,” Frances said. “The thing with somebody who is as smart as she is is that she doesn’t know how to sit with herself. Because she’s so deeply empathetic and so intelligent that when she has to just sit inside her skin, she doesn’t know how to handle that. So she’s highly self-destructive because she doesn’t know what to do with all that information and feeling.”
Though the two have had their ups and downs in the past, Frances explained that they’ve entered a new chapter in their relationship.
“I am somebody who only wants to provide the role for her, as somebody who loves her and supports her and has a non-judgmental [perspective] of empathy and compassion that maybe nobody else in her life has,” Frances said. “I don’t want to control her, I don’t want her to do one thing or the other, and I also don’t expect that my opinions are going to deter her decisions. I want our relationship to be based on open communication and love and truth and awareness on how our actions affect the other person.”
“She’s a really good person,” Frances added. “This is what I like to call the era of balance, and I hope that we’re bringing in the era of balance.”
Getting to that point wasn’t easy for Frances.
“It took so long. I was so f—ing bitter and angry and upset and resentful for a really long time,” she said. “But I had a transformative shift in thinking. When bad stuff happens, as opposed to thinking, ‘Why is this happening to me?’, I started thinking, ‘What is this trying to teach me?’ … It’s changed everything.”
“I’ve come to this place where I really love who I am and I feel like I’m thriving in myself,” she added. “I think that’s the ultimate goal as part of the human experience, is to get to the point where you can say [that] and not in a narcissistic way, in a loving way.”
Frances touched on her relationship with ex-husband Isaiah Silva on the podcast, too, including why she decided to wed at such a young age.
“I got married because I met a guy when I was 17 and newly emancipated from my mother who gave me a sense of normalcy and stability,” said Frances, who had filed for divorce in March 2016 after 21 months of marriage.
“The idea of marriage, of security a family very early on, was the complete opposite of what my mom did,” Frances said. “‘Cause my mom got married when she was 29 and had a baby when she was 30, and that’s not particularly old but she only had a family life for two years and then she never remarried. So I wasn’t provided with any stability. So I met this guy who presented himself to be stable and normal… but I really was grasping on for some kind of stability anywhere.”
Frances — who names other children with famous parents as close friends, including Carrie Fisher and Bryan Lourd’s daughter Billie Lourd and John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s son Sean Lennon — is now following in her parents’ footsteps with a career in music.
She describes her sound as “if PJ Harvey and Fiona Apple got into a fist fight that’s broken up by Dolly Parton, and Jeff Buckley’s crying in the corner.”
As for those comparisons to her father, she doesn’t mind them. “Kurt’s artistry was on another level,” Frances said. “As a fellow artist, I can recognize how important and substantial his lyrics and his melodies [were] and he was.”
“There’s a desperate need for a lot of that fan base to project onto me that I’m the second female coming of Kurt. That is a really big need that needs to be fulfilled,” she explained on RuPaul’s podcast. “People are going to project whatever they want upon me, that doesn’t mean I have to abide by that at all. But if people need that outlet in order to look at my music and look at my art and say, ‘It’s just like your dad,’ if people need that, if that’s the association they make, that’s a pretty damn good association. There are worst things to be called.”
She added: “The reality is, if people give my voice and my music a chance, I think what’s interesting is it’s not replicating somebody else’s thing. It’s really grounded. … my brand is authenticity. That’s what I’m trying to provide in this world, because it’s lacking. … Everything is so saturated and filtered and conceived. What people really are thirsty for… is being able to see somebody for who they are — all the messy bits involved.”