Cornell did not kill himself, says widow
NEW YORK: The widow of grunge rock icon Chris Cornell insisted on Friday that he did not intentionally kill himself, saying the recovering addict’s judgment may have been impaired by prescription drugs.
Cornell was found hanging in his hotel room in Detroit shortly after a show on Wednesday with his main band Soundgarden, authorities said.
Although Wayne County’s medical examiner ruled the death a suicide, his widow, Vicky Karayiannis Cornell, said the 52-year-old gave no indication he wanted to die.
She said that Cornell, who struggled with depression and substance abuse most of his life but had sobered up a decade ago, had been taking Ativan, a prescription drug used to treat anxiety.
“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.
“What happened is inexplicable. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life,” she said.
Cornell, who had a vocal range of nearly four octaves, was one of the most versatile singers in the grunge sub-genre, which blended the rough edges of punk with dark introspection.
In Seattle, the Space Needle went dark on Thursday night to mourn Cornell. Fans left flowers and candles in Seattle’s Volunteer Park under artist Isamu Noguchi’s bagel-shaped sculpture “Black Sun”, the purported inspiration for Soundgarden’s bestknown song, “Black Hole Sun”.
Cornell was also the lead singer of Audioslave, a supergroup with members of Rage Against the Machine, and had a prolific solo career in recent years.