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Fans force Kurt Cobain's widow to flee house

The Seattle house where the tortured Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide three years ago is to be put up for sale by his widow, the outspoken actress Courtney Love, writes Marianne Macdonald.

In the Sunday Review, Love reveals that she has decided to sell because she is worried about the safety of Frances Bean, their four-year-old daughter. The rambling house remains a place of pilgrimage for Cobain's teenage fans, who travel to Seattle to stare at the greenhouse-cum-conservatory where the rock star shot himself in April 1994 at the age of 27.

Love, 31, who is also lead singer in the postpunk band Hole, also blames the decision to sell on her growing celebrity status. "I have to sell my house, which really makes me mad," she says. "I have a nice house but I can't live there ... Kids [are] everywhere all the time."

Her husband died after a long struggle with drugs and depression. He said in a suicide note that he had taken his life because he no longer found enjoyment in his music. Two years ago Love told Vanity Fair magazine that she would never sell the house where she still kept relics of her husband's body next to an altar - locks of his bleached hair, even some pubic hair.

"Somebody in Japan offered me a grotesque thing," she said then. "They offered me $4m for this house because of Kurt dying here. Of course, I was like, 'Go f--- yourself!' They were never even going to live here. They just wanted it. As what? As a f---ing museum?"

But Love now plans to buy a farm outside Seattle and to base herself in Los Angeles, where she is pursuing a film career. She collected rave notices for her role as the wife of the porn magazine mogul in The People vs Larry Flynt, which opens here next month.

The house, which could fetch as much as pounds 4m, is likely to be fought over by Nirvana fans, music industry executives and, more ghoulishly, businessmen who recognise the value of the house which has become a shrine. Love's Story, Review