As the world is grappling with the sudden death by suicide of Chris Cornell, frontman of rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, so is his family. However, Cornell's widow, Vicky Cornell, is disputing reports that he took his own life.
"Chris’ death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled," Vicky told Entertainment Tonight. "He was my best friend. His world revolved around his family first and, of course, his music second."
She says she doesn't believe reports saying Chris' death was by suicide. He flew home from his tour to spend Mother's Day with her and their three children, she added, and during the visit, he was happy and normal as they made plans for a Memorial Day vacation.
The night of his death, he called her and she knew something wasn't right. "When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him," she said. Ativan is an anxiety medication. "What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details."
Official reports say that Cornell hanged himself. "I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life," Vicky said. The family's lawyer, Kirk Pasich, also released a statement, reiterating Vicky's belief that Cornell's death was an accident, not suicide.
"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."
There's clearly more to the story, and we hope that as more information becomes available, Cornell's family and fans can find peace.
If you suspect someone might be considering suicide, or you have struggled with those thoughts yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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