×

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.”

More Music

  • Jeremy Renner

    John Ottman Hosts Jeremy Renner, Michael Keaton, More at 'Aiding Australia' Benefit

    Film editor and composer John Ottman, who won an Oscar for “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 2019, hosted members of the film, television and music communities at the “Aiding Australia” charity dinner and concert held at his West Hollywood home on Sunday evening (Feb. 23). The benefit raised funds to help in the recovery of fire-ravaged Australia, [...]

  • Music Streaming Revenue placeholder

    RIAA Study Shows 2019 Music Revenue Increased 13%, Subscription Income Up 25%

    A study just released by the RIAA shows bad and worse news for sectors of the recorded music business like physical media sales and digital downloads … but better and better news for streaming. And that’s the only news that matters when it comes to revenue for the music industry in the United States. Streaming [...]

  • A still from Miles Davis: Birth

    Film Editor Lewis Erskine on Finding the Rhythm for Miles Davis Doc 'Birth of the Cool'

    On-the-beat editing for the documentary “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool” comes courtesy of Lewis Erskine who brings rhythm to the images apace with that perfect flow of the jazz icon’s horn. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019 and earned a nomination at the NAACP’s 2020 Image Awards for outstanding documentary [...]

  • David Roback, Cofounder of Mazzy Star

    David Roback, Cofounder of Mazzy Star and Opal, Dies at 61

    David Roback — a founding member of the influential bands Mazzy Star, Opal and the Rain Parade — has died at the age of 61, according to his rep. No cause of death has been announced. Roback cofounded the Rain Parade, a leading light of the “Paisley Underground” of California-based psychedelic bands, early in the [...]

  • Duffy Singer Duffy arrives for the

    British Singer Duffy Says She Was 'Raped, Drugged and Held Captive'

    “Whatever happened to Duffy?” is a question that’s been asked by pop music fans for the better part of a decade — especially in the singer’s native UK, where, in the late 2000s, she seemed poised for the kind of massive neo-soul career that Adele has enjoyed in her wake. Occasional stories over the years attempted [...]

  • What — and Who — Is

    What — and Who — Is Next for Def Jam Records?

    Friday afternoon’s announcement that Paul Rosenberg will be stepping down as CEO of Def Jam Records caught nearly everyone by surprise — including, briefly, the label’s parent company Universal Music Group, sources say. But the company pivoted quickly, appointing well-respected UMG chief counsel Jeff Harleston as interim chief while the suddenly public search for a [...]

  • Harry Styles performs at the Greek

    Harry Styles Is Appearing on 'The Howard Stern Show' Next Week

    Harry Styles is making an appearance on “The Howard Stern Show” next Monday, the program’s Captain Janks announced on Twitter on Tuesday. Stern is known to be a fan of Styles ever since the musician released his self-titled solo album back in 2017, expressing his “disturbing” enjoyment of the tracks despite some preconceived notions of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content