This week in nostalgia history: Kurt and Courtney’s wedding, The Bling Ring strikes, and more
WRITING: MUSKAN THIND
Even in the depths of winter, celebrities are booked and busy (a pandemic notwithstanding), with this week’s headlines doling out everything from Kurt and Courtney’s wedding to the ceremonious end of Sex and The City. Meanwhile in 2004, the Bling Ring was terrorizing the Hollywood Hills with their paparazzi fuelled robberies that resulted in over $3 million dollars in valuables being removed from high profile homes. Without further ado, welcome to this week in nostalgia history.
Kurt and Courtney’s wedding in Honolulu, February 24, 1992
Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love tied the knot in February 1992, but according to an interview Love did with Vanity Fair during the same year, their chaotic love story began eight or so years prior in Portland. Love recounts their initial impression of each other, saying, “Back then, we didn’t have an emotion towards each other. It was, like, ‘Are you coming over to my house?’ ‘Are you going to get it up?’ ‘Fuck you.’ That sort of thing.” Regardless of their first interaction, Love was determined to make Cobain hers. She pursued Cobain for months, calling him, telling interviewers she had a crush on him and finally, persuading Danny Goldberg, a prospective manager to give her tickets to a Nirvana show in Chicago. Goldberg recalls that night in Vanity Fair saying, “I was there in Chicago when they consummated their relationship…I didn’t see sparks, but they did go home together. That was in early October. They were married in February.”
Cobain proposed to a pregnant Love, and shortly after, the two were married in Honolulu, Hawaii – him in a pair of checkered pyjamas, and her in an embroidered white dress and a classic red lip. In 2020, Love paid tribute to the day on Instagram, saying:
“I recall feeling deeply delighted, dizzy, so in love and knowing how lucky I was. This man was an angel. I thank him for looking out for me, many parts of the last 28 years have been tortuous chaotic and uphill, and in public? That is the darkest shit imaginable, it almost tapped my resilience, almost. Between Kurt’s strange, amazing divinity, and the honour of a few true friends, the gift of desperation and sobriety. Of a Higher power and of love, and of empathy, I’m here now. It’ll be ok, fuck, I see him on the shore. Rocking in the free world. My husband.”
Sex and the City airs its finale episode, February 22, 2004
In the years since Sex and the City ended in 2004, there’s been plenty of discourse surrounding the goings on behind the scenes. Though it left each character’s storyline tied up in a bow – Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) reunited with Big, Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) in an unexpectedly fulfilling relationship, Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) with a baby on the way and Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) in relative wedded bliss – the reasons as to the show’s end leave a lot to be desired.
Cattrall admitted on Friday Night with Johnathan Ross, that money was a part of the reason the show ended, having asked be paid $1 million per episode (compared to Parker’s $3.2) if the show were to continue past season six, saying, “I felt after six years it was time for all of us to participate in the financial windfall of Sex and the City,” continuing, “When they didn’t seem keen on that, I thought it was time to move on.”
There was also the infamously rumoured feud between Cattrall and Parker that certainly did not help. Cattrall told Piers Morgan that Parker “could have been nicer,” adding, “I don’t know what her issue is, I never have.” Parker had a different version of the story as she set the record straight with Extra, saying “If one more person calls this a catfight… I’m not in a fight. I never fought with Kim. I don’t have to send any gifts to Kim, because I’ve never done anything. She has felt perfectly comfortable to say lots of things — that’s the beauty of living in a democracy — but I have no apologies, meaning, this isn’t a catfight.”
Not many were happy with how the show ended, even the creator of the show, Darren Star. Vogue sat down with Star for an interview, and he told Vogue he wasn’t a fan of the happily-ever-after finale and felt it wasn’t exposing the feminist vision for the series, saying, “I think the show ultimately betrayed what it was about, which was that women don’t ultimately find happiness from marriage,” he said. “Not that they can’t. But the show initially was going off script from the romantic comedies that had come before it . . . At the end, it became a conventional romantic comedy.” So, if you weren’t happy with the fairy-tale ending as well, you’re not the only one.
All the girls finally had their men, their careers and each other, and if you thought SATC 2 was the last time you’d see Carrie Bradshaw, you are truly mistaken. The rise of reboots could not be complete without SATC, which is coming to HBO Max in the coming months without the indelible appearance of a one Ms. Samantha Jones.
The Bling Ring rob Audrina Patridge’s House, February 22, 2009
Tabloid culture peaked during the 2000s, and one group of plugged-in teens used it as a weapon in 2009, when they robbed a series of celebrity houses under the moniker, the Bling Ring. Masterminded by Rachel Lee and Nick Prugo (who were both 18 at the time), the Bing Ring was born when the two attended Indian Hills High School in the affluent Agoura Hills suburb of Los Angeles. They bonded over luxury fashion, Lindsay Lohan and their love for breaking into cars in affluent neighbourhoods, according to Vanity Fair.
It wasn’t long before their behaviour escalated to stealing from cars to major celebrities’ homes, recruiting the help of friends Diana Tamayo, Courtney Ames, Johnathan Ajar and Roy Lopez Jr along the way. Another Bling Ring member was Alexis Neiers, a young reality show star who was shown on an episode of Pretty Wild, reacting to Nancy Jo Sales’ piece on the group for Vanity Fair. According to the article “Neiers, 18, said she was drunk and ‘not sure what was going on” before robbing Orlando Bloom. With quick google searchs, Lee, Prugo and the group, broke into the homes of Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson, Ashley Tisdale, as well as Paris Hilton four times.
In an L.A.P.D. report, Prugo claims that Lee was “the driving force of the burglary crew and that her motivation was based on her desire to own the designer wardrobes of the Hollywood celebrities she admired.” It also mentioned, “Whenever they robbed celebrities’ homes, Prugo said, it went like this: ‘You grabbed a suitcase and filled it up with whatever you wanted.” He said Lee called it “going shopping.’”
On the night of the 81st Academy Awards, (Slumdog Millionaire won Best Picture, Heath Ledger won Actor for his role in Brokeback Mountain), the Bling Ring robbed Audrina Partridge’s Hollywood Hills mansion. Lee and Prugo can be seen in the surveillance video, accessing her house by entering through a locked door. The pair took jewelry and electronics. “Why did they do this?” asked Patridge, “I watched the surveillance videos,” she said, “expecting it to be these big scary guys, and instead it was these two kids.” In Vanity Fair, Patridge claimed, “They took my great-grandma’s jewelry, my passport, my laptop, jeans made to fit my body to my perfect shape.” The estimated value of her stolen property was $43,000.
By the time the Bling Ring was caught by police (in part due to Lindsay Lohan sharing surveillance video footage of them online), they had collectively stolen over $3 million dollars in jewellery and high-end designer pieces. Prugo was sentenced to two years in prison but was released in April of 2013 after one year of his sentence. Lee was sentenced to four years in jail. The rest of the group were sentenced to community service and probation.
The Bling Ring came back to light after Sofia Coppola’s film The Bling Ring, which was released in theatres in 2013. The film starred Emma Watson as Neiers, Katie Chang as Lee and Israel Broussard as Prugo.