When Courtney Love and the media blamed Steve Coogan for Owen Wilson’s suicide attempt

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
4 Min Read

Steve Coogan, a British comedian and actor, famously known for his portrayal of Alan Partridge, saw a significant rise in his stardom during the 1990s. His fame was not only confined to the UK but also extended to the United States.

Yet, alongside his celebrated career, whispers of Coogan’s party-hard reputation were rife. Oasis frontman, Liam Gallagher, spoke of an entertaining night with Coogan in a 2017 interview with Noisey British Masters. Recounting an evening, Gallagher illustrated Coogan’s playful nature, emphasizing their shared good times.

However, the mid-2000s brought with it stories of Coogan’s wilder side. In 2005, he was briefly linked romantically with Courtney Love, the late Kurt Cobain’s ex-girlfriend. This liaison took a controversial turn in 2007 after Owen Wilson’s tragic suicide attempt. Coogan and Wilson, having met in 2003, had fostered a close bond, particularly after starring together in “Night at the Museum.”

Courtney Love advised Owen Wilson to stay away from Steve Coogan

Following Wilson’s suicide attempt, the media, with Love as a significant source, pointed fingers at Coogan. Love told US Weekly, “I tried to warn Owen… I hope from the bottom of my heart that Owen stays the hell away from that guy.”

This media storm also revealed claims that Ben Stiller received an ultimatum from his wife, Christine Taylor, against associating with Coogan. Similar rumors swirled around actress Kate Hudson giving Owen Wilson a related ultimatum. With speculations running high, a source in 2007 allegedly described Wilson and Coogan’s partying behavior as excessive.

Facing this backlash, Coogan chose not to resort to legal action but to issue a firm denial. He spoke in 2011, stating that he hadn’t been with Owen for nine months before the incident and denied any drug use in his company. Coogan clarified that he refrained from prolonged discussions on the matter to avoid further press spotlight on Wilson’s vulnerable state.

Owen Wilson admitted his mental health issues stem from complex childhood issues

Coogan, reflecting in 2009, labeled the rumors as “unfounded” and squarely blamed Love for the controversy. Fortunately for him, the industry saw through the allegations, and it didn’t hamper his relationship or work with Owen.

Coogan’s career and friendship remained unscathed, emphasising their bond by revealing they’d spent Thanksgiving together and were set to work again.

However, the broader lesson from the episode underscores the dangers of assigning blame on an individual’s struggles, especially when another has a possible vendetta. In the end, Wilson’s battles with mental health were proven to have been longstanding, much before he met Coogan.

On reflecting on his challenges in a 2021 Esquire interview, Owen Wilson delved deep into his battles with depression from a young age. He narrated a poignant childhood conversation with his father about mortality, indicating that his struggles were deeply rooted and complex, far beyond external influences.

Share this Article
Leave a comment