Shortly after yesterday's terrible news that Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell was found dead in a Detroit hotel room at age 52, authorities ruled it a suicide by hanging. A statement from Cornell's family is questioning that story, with Vicky Cornell, Chris' wife of 13 years and the mother of two of his three kids, saying, "I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life."
Cornell says her husband flew home from tour for Mother's Day on Sunday and went back to Detroit on the afternoon of his Wednesday concert. They talked on the phone before the gig about plans for Memorial Day and beyond. "When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different," she says. "When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him."
The family's attorney, Kirk Pasich, says:
"Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris—or if any substances contributed to his demise. 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."
Side effects for Ativan (generic name lorazepam), an anti-anxiety medication that can be used to treat insomnia, panic attacks, seizures and alcohol withdrawal, include depression, suicidal thoughts and hallucinations. TMZ previously had sources saying "Vicky says Chris was NOT in any way, shape or form in a suicidal state. She doubled down and said there were no signs he was at all depressed."
Here's Vicky Cornell's full statement:
"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."
See Chris Cornell tell Fuse about his first-ever solo acoustic tour: