As the world still reels from the sudden and shocking death of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, both the attorney for the musician’s family and his wife Vicki have released statements that call into question the 52-year-old’s reported suicide.
“What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details,” states Vicki Cornell, via PR Newswire. “I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life.”
Kirk Pasich, an attorney for the Chris Cornell family, states that Cornell might have exceeded his prescribed dose of Ativan while on tour, and cited medical journals which suggest an over-alottment of dosage can lead to paranoia, slurred speech, impaired judgement, and suicidal thoughts.
“Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris — or if any substances contributed to his demise,” states Pasich. “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.”
Ms. Cornell stressed that “Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled.”
She adds: “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.”
The family states it is grateful for the show of support and affection shown to Cornell over the past 36 hours. “The outpouring of love and support from his fans, friends and family means so much more to us than anyone can know,” states Ms. Cornell. “Thank you for that, and for understanding how difficult this is for us.”
Featured photo by Michael Christopher, taken at Chris Cornell’s January 2013 show at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston. Read his memorial here.