Chris Cornell's Wife Vicky Believes His Suicide Was Accidental

"What happened is inexplicable," she tells E! News in a statement

By Zach Johnson May 19, 2017 11:45 AMTags

Chris Cornell's widow is speaking out one day after his death.

Early Thursday morning, the 52-year-old Soundgarden singer was found unresponsive with a band around his neck inside his bathroom at the MGM Grand Hotel in Detroit. The grunge rocker was pronounced dead on the scene. Later that afternoon, after an initial autopsy had been completed, the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office announced his cause of death "has been determined as suicide by hanging. A full autopsy report has not yet been completed."

Kirk Pasich, an attorney for the Cornell family, said Friday they are disturbed by implications 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. Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages," Pasich said. 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."


Chris also left behind three kids, ages 16, 12 and 11.

In a statement, his wife Vicky Cornell spoke of what a devoted family man the Audioslave singer was. "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," Vicky said. "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."

Chris Cornell's Final Performance Before Tragic Death

Before his final show, she said, "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." Police confirmed to E! News Thursday that after Vicky was unable to reach Chris, she called someone in Detroit, who forced open the door and found him.

Funeral arrangements for Chris have not been announced. Soundgarden was set to headline the "Rock on the Range" festival at MAPFRE Stadium Friday; it's unclear if the tour will proceed.

"What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details," Chris' widow told E! News 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," Vicky added, "and for understanding how difficult this is for us."

Meanwhile, the Pretty Reckless released the following statement in the wake of Cornell's passing and in regards to their previously scheduled show this evening:

 "It is with our grieving hearts that we have decided to reschedule tonight's show at The Starland Ballroom. We will make it up to you. More info on the new date to come soon."

If you or someone you know needs help, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit for additional resources.