Bizarre Details About The '13 Reasons Why' Star Being Sued For Attempted Murder By Frances Bean Cobain's Ex-Husband

The drama allegedly revolves around one of Kurt Cobain's priceless guitars.

Who Is Ross Butler? New Details About The '13 Reasons Why' Star Being Sued For Attempted Murder Getty Images

In a bizarre mash-up of generational icons, Ross Butler, the 28-year-old actor who stars as Zach Dempsey in the Netflix original series "13 Reasons Why", is being sued for allegedly breaking into the home of Frances Bean Cobain's ex-husband, Isaiah Silva, in a botched attempt to murder him and steal the guitar once owned and played by his ex-wife's late father, the legendary Kurt Cobain, lead singer of 90's grunge band Nirvana.


So who is Ross Butler, how did he get involved in the dramatic plot (also said to involve Cobain's widow, Courtney Love), and what is he being accused of?

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According to TMZ, Silva claims that Butler, Love, Love's manager Sam Lufti (also Britney Spears estranged ex-manager), musician Michael Schenk, and private investigator/celebrity wannabe John James Nazarian “burglarized, robbed, assaulted, sexually battered, kidnapped and attempted to murder him”in his West Hollywood home on June 3, 2016, all in an attempt to regain Cobain's guitar, which was awarded to him in the terms of his divorce.

At the time of the divorce, Billboard reported:

"The guitar — a 1959 Martin D-18E — was an acoustic-electric model, produced for just a year before being discontinued in its titular year. On top of being an extremely rare antique, the left-handed Cobain had its bridge and nut adapted so he could play it upside down. All that combined with the fact he played it on MTV Unplugged in New York [in 1993] makes it a prized collectible; TMZ notes it was once insured for $1 million and could be worth several more."


In the divorce proceedings, Silva asserted that he should be allowed to keep the guitar, claiming it was a gift to him from Frances Bean during their marriage, although reports say "Cobain filed documents requesting the court to return the guitar to her."

Her requests, however, were not granted.

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One source told UsWeekly that Frances Bean “forfeited her late father’s guitar to Isaiah in hopes he would just go away but unfortunately that failed,” continuing to say that Cobain “would not want this and Courtney will not allow any of it.”

Billboard further states, "When asked if Frances Bean legally transferred the guitar as a gift to Silva, Love assured, 'She never planned on doing that ... It’s the last guitar he ever played.'"


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The guitar became increasingly important to Love after Cobain died by suicide in 1994, and Silva's alleges that the hefty combination of sentimental and financial value is the motivating factor behind the attack in which Butler is said to have been involved.

“The primary objective of their conspiracy was to locate and take possession of a guitar believed to be worth millions of dollars, which was gifted to Silva, by [Frances], on January 8, 2014, six months prior to their June 29, 2014 marriage,” the documents obtained by UsWeekly allege.

Silva claims the group pounded on his front door yelling, “Police, open up!!!” and, “LAPD, open the f******* door!!!”

TMZ reports “Lutfi grabbed Silva’s genitals through his pants, moved to within inches of his face and whispered, ‘Listen fa***t, calm the f*** down or we’ll drag you upstairs and take turns f****** you.'”


Silva is suing Butler, Love, Nazarian, Lufti, Schenk and others for "conspiring to kill him with the intent of stealing the Nirvana frontman’s guitar.”

According to the civil complaint obtained by People Magazine:

"Silva claims in his lawsuit that Lutfi, Butler and Yan Yukhtman 'entered into a criminal conspiracy to commit trespass, burglary, home invasion robbery, assault, battery, kidnapping, and murder' against him in order to take the guitar on the morning of June 3. He also claims they were going to kidnap him from his home to 'end any potential legal claims [he] may have to the Curson property, the Willoughby Trust and any spousal support' ... [Additionally] Silva alleges Nazarian and Schenk 'did assault and cause physical injury to Silva’s mother while in Silva’s presence and with the intent of terrorizing and intimidating Silva.'"

Silva claims that Love was the mastermind of the plot against him, and it's believed Butler was most likely dragged into the alleged plan thanks to his close friendship with Love.


Butler, born in Queenstown, Singapore to a father of British-Dutch ancestry and a Chinese-Malaysian mother who raised him in Fairfax, Virginia, opened up about his relationship with Love during an interview with Vulture last month.

“A good friend of mine is her manager,” Butler said. “I met him [through a mutual friend] when I moved to L.A. and he was like, ‘Hey, do you wanna meet Courtney Love?’ and I said sure. She and I just clicked really well. She’s super educated, like a walking encyclopedia. She’s just decided to keep me around, and has been my mentor and my big sister ever since.”

The actor credits Love with helping him become more confident in himself in the glaring lights of Hollywood.

“She’s actually helped me be more confident about wanting to be a leading man who’s Asian-American,” he continued. “When I moved here I had no direction, and she brought it up to me as something I should feel confident about.”


Did Butler and Love go from good friends to accomplices? Maybe she boosted his confidence too far. We can't say for sure, however, because as of this time, Butler has yet to comment on the lawsuit.

Silva is asking for unspecified damages.


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Sarah Gangraw is a travel-addicted cat lady who lives on black coffee and cheese. She went to college in Australia, graduated from the University of Central Florida, and writes about all things news and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter — she's occasionally funny.