Frances Bean Cobain & her ex-husband are fighting over Kurt Cobain’s guitar


Frances Bean Cobain pulled the plug on her “starter marriage” several months back. Frances had been involved with Isaiah Silva, a musician, for years, and they apparently got married in June 2014. The marriage lasted less than 2 years, and everyone had high hopes that the divorce would be quick and easy. Frances let everyone know that there was no way Isaiah would get any of her $450 million fortune (the majority of which is her father’s estate and back catalogue), but Frances also said she would be open to giving Isaiah some spousal support. It seemed like Isaiah could walk away with a nice little nest egg, something to live on for several years while he worked (or didn’t work) as a musician. Unfortunately, dumb kids are dumb kids and there’s been a lot of drama.

First, Frances Bean had to get an LAPD escort and protection just to move her stuff out of the home she shared with Isaiah. According to TMZ, the LAPD got a call to keep the peace at the Bean’s West Hollywood home because there was a “prior incident” when Frances and her team tried to remove her things. And now this:

The multi-million dollar guitar famously owned by Kurt Cobain — the last one he played before killing himself — is at the center of Frances Bean Cobain’s nasty divorce. Frances’ estranged hubby, Isaiah Silva, claims she gave him Kurt’s Martin D-18E as a wedding present. It’s the same instrument the Nirvana frontman famously strummed during his epic “MTV Unplugged” performance.

The acoustic-electric is something of a holy grail for Nirvana fans. For starters, only about 300 were made before Martin discontinued the model. Kurt, who was left-handed, had the bridge and nut replaced so he could play it upside down.

Francis denies giving Isaiah the guitar, and wants it back, with good reason. It was once insured for $1 million and experts now think it’s worth several million bucks.

[From TMZ]

For the love of all that is holy! I didn’t know Kurt Cobain’s Unplugged guitar was so sought-after, but Frances would have known and she would have known not to give it away too. I don’t believe she would have given it to Isaiah as a wedding present, and this guy is coming across like a real grifter.


Photos courtesy of Getty, WENN.

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63 Responses to “Frances Bean Cobain & her ex-husband are fighting over Kurt Cobain’s guitar”

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  1. Luca76 says:

    What an effing creep.

    • tealily says:

      Yup. Even if she had given it to him, the decent thing to do would be to give it back. To her, it’s a priceless heirloom from her deceased father. To him it’s $$$. Creep however you slice it.

      • Lahdidahbaby says:

        Just what I came here to say, but you said it so perfectly that I don’t need to try, Tealily.

      • Mike says:

        Perfectly stated. He should feel lucky he got to hold it at all. This is a money grab pure and simple

  2. Tiffany says:

    You sir, are an asshole.

  3. Esmom says:

    Oh no, sigh. Nice try, Isaiah.

  4. MissMerry says:

    sorry, but there is no way anybody is going to believe she ‘gave’ that guitar to anybody, buddy.

    nice attempt at a story, though.

    • Jayna says:

      I believe it. She was young and in love, and she has very complicated feelings anyway about her father, that he committed suicide and left her. She’s made some telling statements about her negative feelings about her dad and people romanticizing him. I may be wrong, but I seem to remember she didn’t even call him dad, but Kurt At the time, she might not have been that emotionally attached to it.

      • Eleonor says:

        I think she made some clever statement about people romanticizing death, and a musician who happens to be an addict and her father.
        This is a young woman who was raised by Courtney Love and menaged to not loose her fortune. Good luck with the guitar.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Understandable. If he did commit suicide, he abandoned a baby to that lunatic wife. Even at the time that was a sticking point for me. Bean has not had it easy. But geezus that boy looks like her dad in the pictures above.

    • La Ti Da says:

      Its an attempt to extort more money from her. From her comments they obviously had a prenup, but his assertion may not be easily disproved. Its safer to just pay him off than risk losing the heirloom entirely. I honestly doubt she gifted it to him though. Her advisors likely warned her how gifted items, like an already insured guitar, would be divvied up in a divorce during the prenup process.
      No matter her unresolved issues with her father, that guitar is not only a family heirloom its truly an iconic piece of Music history. Francis seems to have great respect for the integrity of her father’s estate and legacy. So far she and her advisors have protected her $450 million fortune from her mother’s shadiness and this guy. I don’t see someone who’s that conscious of the situation “gifting” such an heirloom to a groom she’s already having sign a prenup.

  5. Talie says:

    Young love is complicated and causes its participants to do stupid things…so I wouldn’t be surprised if she gave it to him.

  6. lucy2 says:

    I doubt she gave it to him, but even if she did, he should be a decent person and give it back.

    • anna says:

      there is something very weird about the resemblance between kurt and isaiah. did he also wear his clothes and wants to keep them now?

    • Emily says:

      This was my thought, too. Assuming he’s right and she gave it to him…any halfway decent person would at least offer to give it back.

    • I agree. There has always been something “off” about him. Now we know.

  7. Sullivan says:

    A young and in-love person might get caught-up in the romance and gift her father’s guitar to her new husband. Dumber things have happened in the name of love.

    • secret says:

      Yeah, I agree with Sullivan. That was my first thought.

    • Ninks says:

      Yes, I can absolutely see that happening. But I think a decent person would return it.

    • La Ti Da says:

      Maybe, but with how quickly she assured everyone that her fortune was well protected, i.e. prenup I’m surprised she’d let the guitar out of her possession. If they had a prenup she obviously wasn’t completely blinded to the realities of divorce. Her lawyers would’ve likely explain how gifts are generally dispersed during the prenup process. If she already knew the value (both monetary and emotional) of the guitar why wouldn’t she want to protect like she did the cash? Consider this is the same girl who’s kept and worn some of Kurt’s clothing for nearly two decades. Francis obviously treasures what little of him she can hold on to. I’m just not convinced she actually gifted it to him, maybe its a misunderstanding but personally I think its gives him bargaining power with the threat of taking one of the few items of Kurt she has left. Especially since its tied so closely to that iconic MTV Unplugged performance.

  8. roxane says:

    That ditrbag wants to keep the guitar of his ex-wife dead father? Sight…

    • tracking says:

      Yes, what a scummy thing to do. Of course, it’s about the money.

    • There has always been something “off” about this guy. The level to which he styles himself to look like Kurt Cobain…seriously. Look at some of the Instagram pics, the striped shirts, the cardigans, the various permutations of dyed hair…right down to the sunglasses in some cases. EVEN if she did gave it to him, the RIGHT thing for him to do would be to GIVE IT BACK. Are you listening Silva, you weasel-faced, unoriginal, opportunistic douche!? Give. It. Back.

  9. Jen43 says:

    *IF* she gave it to him, then it’s his. I can totally see this happening since she married him thinking it was forever. Sorry to say, I can also see her lying about it. The nice thing to do would be to give it back, but since money is involved she might have to buy it from him. I can’t wait for Courtney to chime in.

    • Erinn says:

      I don’t know. I could also see him lying about it – I mean that guitar is worth SO much. She’s not a stupid girl either – maybe love made her blinded, but I just can’t see her giving that guitar away.

    • Betti says:

      She wasn’t soo blinded by love to get a prenup so its not to much of a leap to see that its highly UNLIKELY she gave him her fathers favourite and rare guitar.

      • Jen43 says:

        That’s why I think it was a gift and not listed as marital assets. If it were listed in the prenup, then it would be safe.

      • mary s says:

        That’s what I’m thinking. Its not adding up. Lawyers are involved in prenups, and wouldn’t they have been aware of the guitar and its value? It also seems that the gift of that particular guitar would have been documented in photos or news stories about their wedding. Anyway, I hope she gets it back. I also hope she’s okay emotionally.

      • Bridget says:

        Do we know it’s not in the prenup, though?

    • Wren says:

      Who knows? I can believe that she might have given it to him, or at least talked about it, in the spirit of young love, which makes the savviest people do the dumbest things. I can also believe that he might be making it up. Or maybe it was a joke between them that he’s now using as a bargaining chip. Anyway, fighting about it is not making him look very good, even if she legit gave him the guitar.

  10. Prairiegirl says:

    Dude, don’t be a douche and give her the f-kin guitar. It’ll buy you goodwill in the divorce settlement AND the right thing to do is ALWAYS return the family heirlooms.

    • BengalCat2000 says:

      I returned the engagement ring my ex gave me because it had been in his family for generations. As much as I hated him at the end, I couldn’t keep something that never really belonged to me. This guy is a piece of shit.

      • Eleonor says:

        As far as I know, when receive the “family ring” even as a present if the marriage ends you have to return it back. Plus he is going to receive a lot of money$ so he should only shut up and go away.

      • K says:

        That was very classy of you, Bengal. : )

      • BengalCat2000 says:

        I should add that every time I looked at it, I was reminded of his stupid face, which made it much easier to give up 😊

      • Jen43 says:

        You’re a good person, BengalCat. Your ex lost out.

      • Kitten says:

        Ha ha, Bengalcat! You did the right thing.

    • Christin says:

      Completely agree. It’s the proper thing to do.

  11. Jayna says:

    If she gave him that as a wedding present, she was an idiot. Because in reality then it is his. That was part of her father, and to gift it away in a new relationship is insane. But she was very young and in love when they married, so I give her somewhat of a pass.

  12. Pansy says:

    Even if she got caught up in it and did give it to him–it’s her FATHER’S guitar! The father she lost as a baby. What a d-bag if he tries to keep it. Common courtesy! You know he’ll just sell it after the divorce is finalized.

  13. Shannon says:

    No telling what she may have said, but it really doesn’t matter to me lol. He doesn’t have any proof, it’s he-said she-said, and even if she actually *did* the non-douche thing would obviously be to give it back. This belonged to her dead father, dude, take your spousal support and back off.

  14. Queendolly says:

    Her Father her guitar, nothing more to it, that man should be ashamed of himself.

  15. paolanqar says:

    What a scumbag.
    It was her father’s guitar. Even if it was a gift you give it back.

  16. Betti says:

    Well of course he’s going to try and nab himself some Cobain memorabilia. I hope she gets it back but it depends on whether the wannabe can prove it. Like Doda Miranda (Athina Onassis’s soon to be ex), this guy had gold digging douche written all over him.

  17. Fanny says:

    I think she probably gave it to him. He’s a musician and an heirloom guitar would be a very appropriate wedding present for him. And that means legally, it’s his. But I think it might be hard to prove on his part if it was given informally and she never transferred the insurance over to him.

  18. Margo S. says:

    Maybe she did give him the guitar as a wedding gift. But they broke up so the gift should be given back. It should stay in the cobain family, not the de silva family. Why keep it? Why be a d!ck?!

    • Betti says:

      He’s a wannabe musician so of course he wants it – it will give him creds that his ‘talent’ won’t, plus he can sell it for millions.

  19. Kat says:

    This a$$hole is a thieving creep of the lowest order. This reminds me of all those losers who go on court shows defending themselves against charges they financially screwed over their ex-girlfriends. Their stock answer to items they stole from their exes is “it was a gift”. Sell that b.s. elsewhere, you grifting f*ckwit. The guitar belongs to Frances, period.

  20. FingerBinger says:

    If she gave it to him it’s a gift she can’t take it back. However he should give it back to her because it belonged to her father.

  21. JB says:

    This is completely scummy of him to do. Not to mention he’s like in his 30s and she’s only 23. It sounds like he might’ve manipulated her throughout the relationship to have a meal ticket.

  22. Sisi says:

    Does it matter in whose name the insurance is? (If the paperwork states it’s her property, I mean)

  23. P says:

    My father committed suicide 2 weeks before Kurt so I have a special place in my heart for Frances. I’m much older, and my dad wasn’t a famous musician, but I can say that for me I placed a huge importance on my dad’s objects that had no value whatsoever. I can’t image having something as special as my dad’s guitar and giving it away – even if it was given in love. I don’t think she gave it away. Even if she did give it to him, he is now punishing her by keeping it. Let her hang on to any of Kurt’s belongings that make her feel better – she needs it and deserves it.

    • mary s says:

      Sorry you went through that. I hope you have been able to make peace with your father’s death.

  24. Pandy says:

    Even if she did give it to him I don’t think it was meant to be his if they are no longer a couple. Come on.

    • Fanny says:

      Once you give someone a gift you don’t take it back. If Frances intended to give him only temporary use of the guitar while they were a couple then it was never a gift.

      In traditional Judaism, the groom is not supposed to give the bride a family heirloom wedding ring. The ring has to be purchased by the groom and given to the bride officially so it’s clear that she has sole ownership of it. I think that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t want a family heirloom ring if everyone treated it like the ring wasn’t really mine.

  25. Anon says:

    This is why my mom left me her jewelry, including her wedding rings. She didn’t want my brothers to give it to someone in marriage and then lose them in a divorce. This way, she knew they would stay within her bloodline. If I don’t have girls, the rings will go to my niece.

    I hope she gets the guitar back, what a creep.

  26. Beckysuz says:

    Ok so lawyers on CB…what would make it legally his? If it was an informal hey I’m giving this to you type of thing then isn’t it still legally hers? Or would it have to be specifically provided for in the prenup? Methinks he’s just trying to blackmail her into a bigger settlement than he deserves

    • Elyna says:

      @Becksuz, I agree with your line of thought. He doesn’t want to keep it. Instead, he wants to use it as a bargaining chip for more pay-out in the divorce settlement. He wants her to “buy it back”; and, in the process, emotionally hurt her along the way. Common douche move, IMO.

  27. Cricket says:

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Bean. I can’t imagine the childhood she’s had to endure between losing her dad at such young age and the batshit cray mom she has who seems to constantly want $ from her.

    I hope she gets the guitar back and can say f u to that loser soon to be ex. I’m glad she is done with him, his trying desperately trying to emulate her dad is just creepy.

  28. yep says:

    This guy…trying to be “real” for Frances, convincing her he wasnt like all the rest, signing that prenup was part of his grift. He may have been real, but money is a raging monster when you get dumped.
    Yet, he isnt happy with the impending spousal support. So he wants that guitar.
    Now, if I were her, Id smash the eff out of it and say…NOW NO ONE GETS IT.
    Or do a secret switch off and smash the fake one.