Vicky Cornell, the wife of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, issued a statement Friday morning where she remembered her late husband, who died Thursday morning at the age of 52, and speculated whether his suicide was the result of taking too much of his anxiety medication.
"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," Vicky wrote.
"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."
However, following Soundgarden's concert Wednesday night, Vicky noticed a change in her husband's demeanor when they talked on the phone after the show.
"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 continued. "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."
An attorney for the Cornell family, Kirk Pasich, reiterated Vicky's belief that an extra dosage of Ativan, an anxiety medication often employed by recovering addicts, altered Chris Cornell's mental faculties after the Detroit show. Pasich added that the Cornell family is "disturbed at inferences that Chris knowingly and intentionally took his life."
"Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris — or if any substances contributed to his demise," Pasich said. "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 added that side effects of Ativan include "paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgment"; Vicky Cornell noted her husband's slurred speech following the Detroit concert in her statement.
She added, "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."
Hours after Cornell's death at a Detroit hotel, a medical examiner's report confirmed that the singer had died by suicide.