Vicky Cornell, the wife of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, issued a statement on May 19th remembering her late husband, who died the morning of May 18th at the age of 52, and speculated whether his suicide was the result of taking too much of his anxiety medication.

“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,” Vicky wrote.

“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.”

However, following Soundgarden’s concert Wednesday night, Vicky noticed a change in her husband’s demeanor when they talked on the phone after the show.

“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,” she continued. “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.”

An attorney for the Cornell family, Kirk Pasich, reiterated Vicky’s belief that an extra dosage of Ativan, an anxiety medication often employed by recovering addicts, altered Chris Cornell’s mental faculties after the Detroit show. Pasich added that the Cornell family is “disturbed at inferences that Chris knowingly and intentionally took his life.”

“Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris — or if any substances contributed to his demise,” Pasich said. “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.”

Pasich added that side effects of Ativan include “paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgment”; Vicky Cornell noted her husband’s slurred speech following the Detroit concert in her statement.

She added, “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.”

Hours after Cornell’s death at a Detroit hotel, a medical examiner’s report confirmed that the singer had died by suicide.

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9 Responses

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  • Doug R. on

    The “Ugly Truth” will come out eventually, it always does.

    Will there ever be a prescription drug WITHOUT side effects??

  • DR Is Live on

    If you have shares in Ativan I sugget you unload quickly.

  • jeffrey heffernan on

    how come it s always something or someone else fault,how about they guy had issues,very deep ones ,and he took his life ,by his own choice,the guys not even cold and here we go ,oh its got to be the medication hes taking,unreal.

    • Doug R. on

      Well, Jeffrey, Chris’s wife and his inner circle seem to think that’s the case. And if you add it all up, it does make a lot of sense. Not saying Chris didn’t have some issues, but it’s not unimaginable to believe that Ativan contributed to his demise.

    • shannon mehaffey on

      The brain is a tricky thing; it regulates emotions, can cause hallucinations, we don’t know what was in his head when he did that. I don’t agree with what he did, but, that’s purely subjective.

    • DR Is Live on

      Why are you judging someone who somehow lost all hope and saw no solution and was so desperate to end it all he couldn’t even think of his kids? I don’t think it’s an act that any of us can judge because of how irrational someone’s thoughts must be to end it all despite what good or bad is going on around them.

  • Keith G on

    I agree with Jeffrey on this. To me, it sounds like some lawyer is trying to stoke some doubt about Ativan, so he can get the drug company to payout some money. My understanding is that Ativan is a drug that former drug addicts can use to deal with anxiety issues. So, we have a former drug addict that may have taken more than the recommended dosage of an anti-anxiety drug that has possible side-affects including causing suicidal thoughts. Why are we trying to blame the drug company? If I take more than the recommended dosage of any drug, and I have a bad reaction to it, it is MY fault, not the drug companies fault. I am certain that Chris’s doctor or pharmacist told him about the possible side-affects of Ativan. Hell, my pharmacist makes me listen to him tell me about the dangers of cough syrup with codine in it! If Chris was taking higher dosages of Ativan than he should have been taking, given the possible side-effects and his reported issues with depression, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he could commit suicide. Chris was an adult, and when adults make bad choices, they have to deal with the consequences of those choices. Unfortunately for Chris, his family, and his fans, it looks like his poor choices may have cost him his life. Blaming a prescription drug that, when taken as prescribed, probably helps a lot of people will only enrich lawyers and could result in this drug being pulled from the market.

  • shannon mehaffey on

    They put this stuff on the market…we don’t know what Chris’s doctor told Chris about Ativan. Also, it’s not unreasonable to expect that someone may take one or two over the prescribed dose; intended use is not the standard. However, getting this to a jury is next to impossible, he would need many more plaintiffs, and even then, showing Ativan as the actual cause would be very hard to prove.

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