Sunday 20 August 2017

Chris Cornell's wife questions 'disturbing' coroner's report that singer died by suicide, blames prescription drugs

His wife Vicky issued a statement

Chris Cornell performing with Soundgarden at the Hard Rock Calling festival in London in 2012
Chris Cornell performing with Soundgarden at the Hard Rock Calling festival in London in 2012
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Chris Cornell's family has questioned the coroner's report which concluded that the Soundgarden singer died by suicide.

The 52-year-old star died on Thursday just hours after performing on stage with the band in Detroit and his death was ruled a suicide.

His wife Vicky has now issued a statement revealing that he was on a prescription for anti-anxiety drug Ativan and suggesting he may have taken a higher dosage which may have impaired his judgement.

In the emotional statement she said, "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."

She said she spoke with Chris on the phone following his show and she noticed a change in him.

"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 said.

"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."

Kirk Pasich, a lawyer for the Cornell family added, “Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris—or if any substances contributed to his demise.

"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."

He also said that side-effects of Ativan include "paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgement".

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