Soundgarden Accuse Chris Cornell’s Widow Of Stealing Charity Show Proceeds, Social Media Accounts
Back in December, Vicky Cornell, the widow of the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, filed a lawsuit against the surviving members of Soundgarden. In the legal documents that she filed, Vicky claimed that Soundgarden were withholding thousands of dollars in royalties that they owed her, and she further claimed that they were disputing the rights to seven unreleased songs that Chris had written. Now, Rolling Stone reports that Soundgarden have countersued, claiming that Vicky Cornell kept the proceeds from last year’s Soundgarden tribute benefit show and that she has also unlawfully kept control of the band’s social media accounts.
In January of 2019, the surviving Soundgarden members played a Soundgarden tribute show in Los Angeles. (The show also featured Metallica, Foo Fighters, Ryan Adams, and the surviving members of Temple Of The Dog and Audioslave, among many others.) In their lawsuit, Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, and Ben Shepherd — the surviving members of Soundgarden — claim that they had an “oral agreement” with Vicky: They’d play the show for free, and the funds would benefit the Chris And Vicky Cornell Foundation. They say that the show “is believed to have raised many millions of dollars” and that “the recipient(s) of the revenue… have not been identified.”
Soundgarden are claiming “fraudulent inducement,” saying that they have suffered “reputational harm” from playing the show: “Vicky Cornell did not have the intention of using some or all of the revenue from the Cornell Concert for charitable purposes, but rather for personal purposes for herself and her family.”
They also claim that they’ve never given Vicky permission to control Soundgarden’s social media accounts and that she has “removed fan comments and has herself posted images and comments to publicly-accessible Band Social Media pages. Some of those postings by Vicky Cornell are intended to denigrate the Band and Surviving Band Members.”
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Vicky’s lawyer Marty Singer calls Soundgarden’s accusations “salacious, scurrilous, and vicious.” Singer says that Soundgarden were paid $78,000 to play the tribute show and that Vicky hasn’t kept the money from the show:
As Chris’ former band members are well aware, every single penny of the proceeds generated by the concert were properly allocated and accounted for and their statements are not only false and defamatory but demonstrate the depths to which Chris’ former bandmates are willing to sink to tarnish his legacy.
Soundgarden filed the suit yesterday in the US District Court of the Southern District of Florida, Miami division. We can probably look forward to many months of being further depressed over all of this.