Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell's wife says his suicide is 'inexplicable' video

Chris Cornell's wife doesn't believe he meant to kill himself.
JEFF VESPA/WIREIMAGE

Chris Cornell's wife doesn't believe he meant to kill himself.

The wife of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell says she doesn't believe the singer meant to kill himself, suggesting anxiety drugs he was taking might have played a role in his death.

Cornell, 52, was found dead in the bathroom of his hotel on Wednesday night [Thursday NZ Time] after the grunge band had played a concert in the US city of Detroit. The Wayne County medical examiner initially ruled the cause of death to be suicide by hanging.

"What happened is inexplicable, and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details," Vicky Cornell said in a statement. "I know that he loved our children, and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life."

Chris Cornell was found dead hours after a concert in the US.
SUPPLIED

Chris Cornell was found dead hours after a concert in the US.

Cornell said the singer, a recovering addict, was taking the prescription drug Ativan, which treats anxiety and insomnia. One of the listed side effects is that it may increase depression and cause impaired judgement.

READ MORE:
The day I shared a stage with Chris Cornell
Chris Cornell commits suicide at age 52
In Photos: Legendary rocker Chris Cornell
* Chris Cornell dead: Tributes flow for Soundgarden singer
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell goes quiet

 

Kirk Pasich, a lawyer for the family, said they were disturbed at the inference that Cornell "knowingly and intentionally took his life" before the results of toxicology tests were known.

"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," Pasich said.

Ativan maker Pfizer had no immediate comment.

Cornell had spoken openly of his drug and alcohol addiction in the past, as well as periods of depression and agoraphobia.

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Vicky Cornell said she had asked security to check on her husband on Wednesday night when she spoke to him before and after the Soundgarden show.

"I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different," she said. "He told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two."

Cornell's death, in the midst of a US tour, has been met with an outpouring of grief.

Soundgarden was one of the leading bands in the grunge music movement in the 1980s and '90s, releasing albums such as Down on the Upside and the Grammy-winning Superunknown.

WHERE TO GET HELP

Lifeline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 354

Depression Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 111 757

Healthline (open 24/7) - 0800 611 116

Samaritans (open 24/7) - 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Youthline (open 24/7) - 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email talk@youthline.co.nz

0800 WHATSUP children's helpline - phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day.

Kidsline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.

Your local Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)

Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.

For further information, contact the Mental Health Foundation's free Resource and Information Service (09 623 4812).

 - AAP

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