Chris Cornell’s Family Thinks Pills Influenced Singer’s Suicide

"He told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two," his widow said.

By Robyn Collins

Chris Cornell’s family have issued a statement, questioning the coroner’s report that ruled the singer’s death a suicide by hanging.

Related: Chris Cornell’s Death Ruled Suicide by Hanging

“Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris—or if any substances contributed to his demise,” his wife Vicky said in a statement. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging, but Cornell’s family calls the mention of suicide “disturbing.”

The family added that Cornell had a prescription for the anxiety medication Ativan, and might have taken more than his regular dose.”

“When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different,” his wife Vicky Cornell said. “When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him.”

Attorney Kirk Pasich noted that side effects of taking Ativan can include paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgement.

“Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled,” Vicky added. “As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband.”

She explained that the Seattle music pioneer had flown home after Soundgarden’s tour dates the weekend before to be with his family, then returned to the tour.

Cornell was found dead in his hotel bathroom in Detroit on Wednesday (May 17), shortly after midnight in Detroit, just hours after a Soundgarden show at the Fox Theater.

The grieving widow shared, “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.”

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