Courtney Love was arrested Thursday on misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment and third-degree assault for allegedly throwing a microphone stand and striking a man in the head at a New York City nightclub.
The incident occurred after Love, 39, courted trouble with the Federal Communication Commission by repeatedly baring her breasts during a taping of CBS’ “Late Show” with David Letterman on Wednesday.
Police allege that Love hit Gregory Burgett, 24, of London, Ky., in the head with a microphone stand as he watched the beginning of her show at the East Village club Plaid’s weekly “Kitten Club” rock ’n’ roll night.
The club’s publicist, Claire O’Connor, said the microphone stand somehow “ended up in the crowd,” and Love “didn’t intend to hit this guy.”
“She went back to her dressing room, completely unaware that there was an incident and she was about to be arrested,” O’Connor said.
Love was arrested after Burgett needed three staples in his head and said he wanted to press charges, police and witnesses said.
Love received a desk-appearance ticket and is due back in court on April 19. The two misdemeanor charges each carry one-year maximum sentences.
“We are presently investigating the charges,” Love spokeswoman Jill Fritzo said in an e-mailed statement. “There is a pending court date and we believe she will be vindicated.”
Love, whose husband, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, killed himself in their Seattle home in 1994, gained independent renown with her band Hole and her role in the film “The People vs. Larry Flynt.” Love has admitted using heroin in the past but has said she has cleaned up her act.
She has become better known in recent months for her wacky behavior, temper tantrums and run-ins with the law.
Love lifted her olive shirt at least six times on Letterman’s talk show. Her back was facing the camera when she exposed herself while making an entrance. She then stood atop Letterman’s desk, sang a few bars of “Danny Boy” and offered the host an up-close viewing. The video was altered so a profile of her breasts couldn’t be seen.
She alluded to actress Drew Barrymore, who similarly exposed herself to the talk-show host.
“Very sweet of you,” Letterman said. “We’re going to lose our liquor license.”
Love sat down on Letterman’s couch, gestured to her chest and said, “FCC!”
Of the Federal Communication Commission’s recent crackdown on lewd content on television and radio, Love said, “Is this like Reagan trickle-down economics? Is this like Bush trickle down?”
Love was arrested in October after allegedly trying to break into the Los Angeles home of a former boyfriend. Police later called to her home allegedly found painkillers when Love was taken to a treatment center for a drug overdose.
Love has been charged with two felony counts of possession of controlled substances. She also faces misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
A preliminary hearing in the felony case has been postponed to April 15. She showed up two hours late Tuesday for a court hearing and was scolded by the judge after talking out of turn in court.
During his show, Letterman asked Love whether she could talk about the court case. “Yeah, I’m not supposed to,” she said.
When Letterman later asked if drugs were involved, Love said, “One expired Percocet and one Ambien.”
Love later lit up a cigarette — defying New York City’s strict anti-smoking laws — and asked Letterman, “Are you going to cut this because I’m smoking?”
“That won’t be the reason we cut anything,” he replied.
Letterman looked profoundly uncomfortable with Love’s scatterbrained performance, but he did get the last word. He was looking to cut to a commercial, but Love insisted he ask her one more question.
“How much do you weigh?” Letterman said.
Love looked shocked. She didn’t answer.