Family of musician Chris Cornell disputes he killed himself

Friday, May 19, 2017

DETROIT (AP) — Rock musician Chris Cornell's wife today disputed "inferences" the rocker killed himself in a Detroit hotel room, saying he may have taken more of an anti-anxiety drug than he was prescribed.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office said Cornell – the lead singer in Soundgarden and Audioslave – hanged himself after performing at a concert Wednesday night. But Cornell's family said without toxicology test results completed they don't know what caused his death.

Vicky Cornell, Cornell's wife, said when she spoke to her husband after the Detroit show, he told her he may have taken "an extra Ativan or two." According to lawyer Kirk Pasich, the 52-year-old musician had a prescription for the anti-anxiety drug. Ativan, a sedative, has side effects that can include drowsiness and dizziness, according to the National Institutes of Health.

"Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris – or if any substances contributed to his demise," Pasich said in a statement released to The Associated Press. "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."