Cor­nell did not kill him­self, says widow

New Straits Times - - World -

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.

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