Chris Cornell's Family Believes His Suicide May Have Been An Accident
On Wednesday evening in Detroit, lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave Chris Cornell was found dead at the age of 52. It was then reported Thursday by the Associated Press that the medical examiner determined Cornell committed suicide by hanging. As of that afternoon, the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office had not yet performed a full autopsy report, E! News reported. However, Chris Cornell's family believes his suicide may have been an accident, as revealed in two separate statements; one from Kirk Pasich, the family's attorney, and one from Cornell's wife, Vicky Cornell, released to E! News Friday.
Pasich's statement reads:
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.
As for Cornell's wife, part of her statement reads,
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.
E! News spoke with police officers, who said that Vicky called someone to check on Chris, and they then forced open the door, only to discover his body.
"What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details," Vicky added. She added:
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.
Cornell's rep, Brian Bumbery, confirmed the musician's death to CNN Thursday.
"His wife Vicky and family were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing, and they will be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause," Bumbery's statement, released to CNN, reads. "They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty and ask that their privacy be respected at this time."