Sad news got even sadder yesterday, when the death of Soundgarden and Audioslave singer Chris Cornell was confirmed to be a suicide. The Detroit police department began its investigation of Cornell’s death, which culminated with the Wayne Country medical examiner officially ruling it a suicide due in part to finding “band around his neck.” But Vicky Cornell, the late singer’s wife, doesn’t agree with the medical examiner’s findings. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kirk Pasich, an attorney for the Cornell family, has issued a letter about the ruling on their behalf, saying they’re “disturbed at inferences that Chris knowingly and intentionally took his life.”
Cornell’s family believes he might have suffered an accidental overdose of anxiety medication. The letter acknowledges that “without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris—or if any substances contributed to his demise.” It continues: “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.” Pasich went on to cite medical literature indicating that “Ativan can cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgment.”
In the letter, Vicky Cornell shared the couple’s last conversation, during which they “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.” She said she is “hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details,” while also thanking fans for the outpouring of support.