23 Years Ago: Axl Rose Cleared in ‘Right Next Door to Hell’ Case
We’ve always known that Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose can be a pretty volatile guy. In 1990, we found out what could happen if he had the misfortune of living next door to an equally excitable neighbor.
We’re referring to the legal showdown that erupted between Rose and Gabriella Kantor, who phoned Los Angeles police on Oct. 30, 1990, and accused him of assaulting her with a wine bottle and a piece of chicken before throwing her apartment keys over his 12th-story balcony. Arrested for investigation of assault, Rose went on to spend four hours in jail before being released on $5,000 bail — and while they waited to take their case before a judge, he and Kantor quickly proceeded to duke it out in the court of public opinion.
Telling People Magazine she was suffering from “postconcussive syndrome,” Kantor reiterated her accusations, saying Rose hit her over the head with “a really good bottle” of Chardonnay and complained that she continued to experience headaches as a result of the attack. Not surprisingly, Rose dismissed Kantor’s allegations as false.
“Frankly,” he retorted in the same People article, “if I was going to hit her with a wine bottle, she wouldn’t have gotten up. I would have become a criminal at that point, wondering what I was going to do next to not get busted over the quivering body in my hallway.” Referring to Kantor as “an obsessed fan,” he shrugged, “I don’t know what I represent to her. Gabby wants a big place in my life, and she can’t take the rejection.”
According to Rose, the entire confrontation started when Kantor started yelling in the hallway between their apartments. “I went out and just said, ‘Shut up — you’re wasted. Just go in, go to sleep,’” he recalled. “And she came flying at me, yelling, ‘Who do you think you are? Come on — hit me, hit me.’ And she’s coming at me with this wine bottle, and when she got about arm’s distance, I took it from her. Then she threw her keys at me into my apartment, so I went to shut my door, picked up her keys, went over to the balcony and threw them off.”
Ultimately, the courts sided with Rose, dismissing the case on Nov. 28 and declining to prosecute due to lack of evidence. As the deputy D.A. put it at the time, “It just doesn’t appear he struck her with a wine bottle.” It all added up to a bunch of tabloid headlines and a waste of taxpayers’ money, but at least Rose (and GNR fans) got something out of it — as we pointed out in our list of Top 10 Guns N’ Roses ‘F— You’ Songs, the ordeal helped inspire the ‘Use Your Illusion’ track ‘Right Next Door to Hell.’