Celebuzz has heard a series of voice messages the former Hole front woman left on the phone of Jessica Labrie, a former assistant who last week filed a lawsuit claiming the singer failed to pay her monies due and made a number of unethical requests, including asking her to forge legal documents.
In one tape, 48-year-old Love — the widow of iconic Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain — left Labrie a rambling message in which she tearfully admitted she was in dire financial strife and could not pay the woman’s wages.
“What am I supposed to do? Not eat? Live on the streets?” Love said.
The voicemails could be a potential blow to Love’s legal defense in the wrongful termination, wage and breach of contract case filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court on on July 10, according to Hollywood-based attorney Catherine Lombardo.
While Love’s publicist dismissed Labrie’s claims as “completely unfounded and are being made with malice by a disgruntled former employee,” the emergence of the potential smoking gun could be hard to argue against, said Lombardo.
“The ex assistant will prevail if this alleged voicemail exists,” said Lombardo.
“Winning a case like this is easy; if there was an employment agreement, if the employee did the work and then if Love stiffed her on the paycheck, the judge will have no choice but to rule in favor of the ex assistant.
“If Love wants to fight this case, she will have to prove to the judge that her ex assistant did not work those hours, or lied, or breached their employment agreement in some egregious way. My prediction is that Love will suffer a judgement and be forced to pay.”
Canadian-based Labrie, 33, claimed she was forced to work in an “environment rife with harassment, retaliation and discrimination”.
She told court she was owed thousands of dollars in back pay and was left suffering from “headaches, insomnia, depression, and anxiety” after working for Love, the estranged mother of Frances Bean Cobain.
A source with knowledge of other voice messages told Celebuzz Love is heard “asking the assistant to help her go through Frances Bean’s belongings” and spy on Andre Balazs, the Hungarian-American hotelier and residential developer who is currently dating E! host Chelsea Handler.
According to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Love had promised both Balazs and Fight Club star Edward Norton would be named executor of her estate.
But when Balazs started dating comedienne Handler, Love decided she wanted to get back at the hotelier, who runs the famed Chateau Marmont, said the source.
“In one of the messages, Courtney is heard asking Labrie to dig into Andre’s past in an attempt to discredit him,” the source said.
Even more damning for Love’s defense, is one voicemail where a “near tears” Love tells her assistant she can’t pay her what she is owed, otherwise the Hole singer will be forced to live on the streets.
In the filing, Labrie claimed Love hired her in June 2010 as a $30 an hour assistant to provide “forensic research aide.” She also promised the woman a “full ride scholarship to Yale University” and work on the set of an upcoming Nirvana biopic.
Besides having to work “more than sixty hours a week” without being paid overtime, Labrie told court she was asked to commit “fraudulent, unlawful, and unethical acts” including hiring a “computer hacker” and sending “fake legal correspondence”.
Labrie has called for a jury trial but has not specified how much she is owed by the rocker, asking instead for “punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish” Love.
“(Labrie) has suffered, and continues to suffer, emotional pain, humiliation, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and emotional distress,” the lawsuit said.
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