More details are coming out surrounding the untimely passing of Soundgarden and Audioslave singer Chris Cornell.
After the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office ruled Chris’ death a suicide by hanging, his wife, Vicky Cornell, is now speaking out. “Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled,” she said in a statement obtained by E! News. “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.”
Vicky also shared that Chris had only just left his family on May 17, 2017—the day he died—flying out to a show in Detroit mid-day. Before he left, they had talked about going on vacation together for Memorial Day. However, Vicky reveals, when they spoke after his Soundgarden performance that night, she noticed that he was acting strangely. “When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different,” she said. “When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him.”
Unfortunately, that’s reportedly when Chris’ body was found on the bathroom floor of hotel room. Some papers have claimed that the 52-year-old had a band around his neck, though this has not been confirmed by the police. An autopsy report has not yet been completed.
“What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details,” Vicky continued in a statement. “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,” she went on, “and for understanding how difficult this is for us.”
Kirk Pasich, an attorney for the Cornell family, has expressed their suspicion that Chris’ drug use ultimately led to his death. “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 said in a statement (via Pitchfork). “Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris—or if any substances contributed to his demise.”
He also notes that the Cornell family believes that Chris, who was a recovering addict, may have taken more than the recommended dosage of his Ativan prescription. “Some medical literature indicates that Ativan can cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgment,” Pasich stated.
Funeral arrangements for Chris have not yet been announced.
Chris is survived by his wife and their three children, ages 16, 12, and 11.