A celebrity manager and two other men accused in a civil suit of conspiring to kidnap Courtney Love’s son-in-law in 2016 to try to recover a prized Kurt Cobain guitar may attend the deposition of the plaintiff, who can have a security guard armed with nothing more than tear gas present for his protection, a Los Angeles judge ruled Monday.
Superior Court Judge Randolph Hammock denied a motion by Isaiah Silva to ban Osama “Sam” Lutfi and the two other defendants from being present in the same room when Silva is asked questions by Love’s attorneys.
“The bodyguard is not to intervene unless the plaintiff is physically threatened,” according to a minute order prepared by the judge’s clerk.
Silva maintains he is fearful of the men, but Love’s attorneys opposed his motion.
The judge ordered that the deposition take place on or before March 31.
Silva’s lawyer, Douglas Unger, had sought a court order restricting the three men to another room with video access to the deposition. He maintained in his court papers that the three are not represented by Love’s lawyers and that Cobain’s widow had no grounds to oppose the motion.
Lawyers for Love maintained in their court papers that Silva’s motion was the latest in a long line of attempts to prevent them from taking his deposition.
The complaint filed in May 2018 alleges that in June 2016, Lutfi, actor Ross Butler and another man, Yan Yukhtman, broke into Silva’s West Hollywood home and banged on his bedroom door, saying that they were members of the Los Angeles Police Department. Silva claims he was dragged out of his home and taken away in a black Cadillac Escalade.
Silva’s lawyer alleges that Love, also a defendant in the suit, told Lutfi and the others to use threats in order to convince Silva to agree to a settlement agreement to return the guitar and concur with her other demands.
Unger further alleges Love was the mastermind of the actions against his client and that attorney Marc Gans told Lutfi not to let Silva leave the home until the settlement paperwork was completed.
Unger stated in his court papers that the communications — most of which consist of phone records — will show with whom Lutfi was in contact before, during and after the alleged attack on Silva.
The 1959 Martin D-18E guitar was used during Nirvana’s iconic “MTV Unplugged in New York” performance in 1993. Cobain took his own life the next year.
Since Love’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, filed for divorce from Silva in 2016, the guitar has been the subject of public interest and a contested issue in their marital split. A family law judge awarded the instrument to Silva.
Love and Lutfi later had a falling-out and she obtained a temporary restraining order against him in December 2018, alleging he was harassing her and her family through emails, texts and phone calls.
Last June, Judge Brenda Penny issued a five-year restraining order forbidding Lutfi from contacting singer Britney Spears or her family or making disparaging statements about them online. Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, testified that Lutfi, who served briefly as his daughter’s manager, has been harassing his family for years and that his conduct had recently resumed.