Chris Cornell’s family is pushing back against the determination by the medical examiner that the Soundgarden singer took his own life. According to a statement issued by the family’s lawyer, Kirk Pasich, “Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris — or if any substances contributed to his demise.” Adding, “Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages. The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.”
According to published reports, Cornell was found dead in his hotel room in Detroit on Wednesday night just after performing a show with Soundgarden at the Fox Theater. When police arrived on the scene they noticed a band around his neck, and the medical examiner later determined that he had committed suicide by hanging.
Cornell’s wife Vicky also shared a statement in tandem with the family lawyer, where she said, “Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend. His world revolved around his family first and of course, his music, second.” Adding, “What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life.”
You can read Vicky Cornell’s entire statement below.
Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend. His world revolved around his family first and of course, his music, second. He flew home for Mother’s Day to spend time with our family. He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children.
When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do. When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him. What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life.
The outpouring of love and support from his fans, friends and family means so much more to us than anyone can know. Thank you for that, and for understanding how difficult this is for us.
You can read Steven Hyden’s loving obituary to Chris Cornell here.