The family of Chris Cornell are disputing the Wayne County Medical Examiner‘s official finding that 52-year-old singer’s death was a suicide, and are asking to see toxicology reports showing what substances were in his system at the time he died.
The Soundgarden front man’s family released a statement via their lawyer, questioning the claims, and saying:
“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. Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris – or if any substances contributed to his demise.”
In particular, Cornell’s family are concerned that he may have taken a higher-than-recommended dose of the prescription drug Ativan, with the statement continuing:
“Some medical literature indicates that Ativan can cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgement.”
Cornell’s wife Vicky released her own statement, describing a conversation she had with her husband on the night of May 17, when he is alleged to have taken his own life after a show in Detroit:
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. 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. 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. 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.
An autopsy has yet to be conducted.
Photo: Sean tSabhasaigh / Getty.