×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chris Cornell’s Family: Prescription Drugs May Have Influenced Suicide

Chris Cornell’s family has issued a statement questioning the coroner’s report that the singer intentionally took his own life on Thursday.

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

The 52 year-old vocalist had a prescription for Ativan, the family shared, and may have taken a higher dosage that impaired his judgement. Attorney Kirk Pasich noted that Ativan can cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts and slurred speech.

Ativan is a tranquilizer and anti-anxiety medication that is sometimes used as a sleeping aid.

Cornell was a recovering addict and had allegedly been sober since 2002. His wife, Vicky, said in an emotional statement, “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.”

She said Cornell flew home from Soundgarden’s tour the weekend before to spend time with his wife and children, before returning to the mid-west.

The Seattle rocker was found dead in his hotel bathroom at 12:05 a.m. ET on Thursday. Soundgarden had played a show just hours before at Detroit’s Fox Theater.

His death was ruled a suicide by hanging, the local medical examiner reported Thursday, but Cornell’s family called the suicide declarations “disturbing.”

“When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different,” his wife added. “When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him.”

She added: “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.”

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo

    Moody Blues' Justin Hayward Isn't Burning Up Over What Got Lost in the Fire

    Nobody called Justin Hayward about the fire on the Universal Studios Hollywood lot — not Universal Music Group, certainly, but also no reporters. “There were much more important people to call or to speak about that,” Hayward says, in his typically self-effacing, English way. The New York Timesrecently blew the lid off of the 2008 [...]

  • Album Review: Brockhampton's 'Ginger'

    Album Review: Brockhampton's 'Ginger'

    It is a testament to the sheer creative force and prolific output of their last two breakout years that, though the members are only in their early 20s, Brockhampton has settled into a kind of artistic maturity on their new record, “Ginger.” In 2017, Brockhampton burst into the hip-hop consciousness offering a bold paradigm shift [...]

  • Taylor SwiftTeen Choice Awards, Arrivals, Los

    Taylor Swift Says She's 'Remorseful' For Not Getting Involved in 2016 Election

    Taylor Swift says she feels “really remorseful for not saying anything” during Trump’s run for presidency in 2016, per an interview with the Guardian published today. The singer points to her negative public image during the time of the election as one reason she stayed uninvolved, but explained that she would’ve endorsed Hillary Clinton for [...]

  • Lil Nas XCMA Fest, Nashville, USA

    Will Grammys' Country Categories Welcome a New Tide of Black Artists?

    Country music has never been known as a bastion of diversity. Even in this era of female empowerment, the genre remains largely a man’s world  —  make that a white man’s world. But things might be improving slowly, in the industry as a whole and, by extension, maybe even with Grammy voters. When the nominees are [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Madonna

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna Call for Action on Amazon Wildfires

    As wildfires rage at an alarming rate in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, celebrities are using their platforms to bring awareness to the deforestation’s impact and to call for action. In the past week, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Cara Delevingne and Ariana Grande have taken to Instagram to express their frustration with the lack of [...]

  • DJ Khaled Bad Boys

    DJ Khaled's Long Tail? Three Months After Release, 'Father of Asahd' Has Legs

    DJ Khaled kicked off the summer with a bang, appearing on the season closer of “Saturday Night Live” in May followed by a performance on the BET Awards a month later — both all-star productions of songs from his latest album, “Father of Asahd,” released by Epic Records on May 17. But since then, he’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content