Frances Bean Cobain did not have to give up much in the divorce settlement from her ex-husband, but she did lose a treasured item that belonged to her father, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. According to The Blast, Cobain and musician Isaiah Silva split in 2016, following a secret marriage less than two years prior. Cobain cited "irreconcilable differences" in divorce papers, with a messy court battle coming in the wake of her filing.
Now, it is reported that they have reached an agreement in their divorce settlement, which sees Silva walking away with the iconic 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic guitar that Cobain's father played during Nirvana's classic MTV Unplugged performance in 1993. However, this is all that Silva left with, as he was denied spousal support and will be required to pay his legal fees. Cobain reportedly did not want to give up the guitar, referring to it as a "priceless family heirloom," but was said to be ready for the legal battle to end. Silva alleged that Cobain previously gave him the guitar as a gift, though she refuted this claim.
Interestingly, in May 2020, Page Six reported that the guitar had been put up for auction. The seller's identity was not listed, but it was speculated to be Silva. The instrument was eventually sold to Rode Microphones founder — and Australian businessman — Peter Freedman, who paid more than $6 million for it. Freedmen stated that he planned to take the guitar on a world tour to raise money for the performing arts.
Among other issues in their marriage and divorce, Silva was reportedly upset that he and Cobain did not have a pre-nuptial agreement. He also alleged that she promised to pay for many of his living expenses, including private schooling for his child from a previous relationship. Relatedly, according to reports, "there's one major condition to Silva getting Kurt's guitar - Silva's baby mama has to quickly vacate the couple's L.A. house, which is now strictly Cobain's under the property settlement." The home is estimated at around $450million.
In a previous podcast interview with RuPaul, Cobain spoke about her past family life with mom Courtney Love — following her father's death in 1994 — and shared how it affected her later in life. "The idea of securing a family very early on was the opposite of what my mom did. She only had a family life for like two years, and then she never remarried or anything, so I wasn't ever provided with any kind of stability," Cobain said. "So I met this guy, who at the time presented himself to be stable and normal, but that mutated later on."