The family of rocker Chris Cornell is speaking out amid headlines claiming the Soundgarden singer “intentionally took his life” after an autopsy revealed Cornell hanged himself.
In a statement to the Associated Press, his representative Brian Bumbery described Cornell’s “sudden and unexpected” death, which came as a shock not just to his legions of adoring fans across the globe, but those closest to him also.
The singer was found dead mere hours after performing with his Soundgarden bandmates in Detroit to a packed out crowd; it has been reported that the legendary vocalist was found in the bathroom of his room at the MGM Grand in Detroit, having performed a Soundgarden gig in the city mere hours prior. The timing of his passing has only added to the sense of tragedy, particularly considering the messages of excitement that the late singer had posted on social media in the lead up to Soundgarden’s Detroit concert.
Stories of the messages of warmth and love that he shared with fans after the gig emerged later in the week, only adding to the sense of tragedy surrounding his untimely death. The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s ruling was that Cornell had taken his own life, however his family do not believe that this tells the whole story of the circumstances leading to the singer’s death.
Pitchfork reports that the Cornell family have released a statement – through their lawyer – raising questions over the possible motives of the singer’s reasons for taking his own life.
The statement says:
“The family believes that if Chris took his own life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.
Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris – or if any substance contributed to his demise.”
The Cornell family have claimed that the late singer might have been taking Ativan, an anti-anxiety prescription drug, at levels above the recommended dosage. As the statement continues;
“Some medical literature indicates that Ativan can cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgement.”
In a separate statement, Chris Cornell’s wife, Vicky, divulged that her husband was slurring his speech when the pair spoke following his gig;
“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.
I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life.”
The Cornell family will hope that medical reports are successful in shedding further light on the circumstances surrounding the beloved singer’s death. At the end of her statement, Vicky thanks fans of her husband for the incredible outpouring of love that has been forthcoming in recent days;
“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.”