The late Chris Cornell‘s family has released a statement about the death of the 52-year-old rocker.


The Cornell family attorney, Kirk Pasich, said that his wife Vicky Cornell and family are upset that people have inferred that Chris’ death was intentional. “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,” Pasich said in a statement emailed to “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.” The lawyer also noted that Ativan is said to cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech, and impaired judgment.

Ativan is a brand name for the drug lorazepem, a benzodiazepine medicine used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders, among other illnesses.

“Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend. His world revolved around his family first and of course, his music, second,” Added Vicky. “He flew home for Mother’s Day to spend time with our family. He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children. When we spoke before the show, 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. 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,” she concluded. “Thank you for that, and for understanding how difficult this is for us.”

Cornell passed away May 17 in his hotel room at the MGM Grand Casino in Detroit, where his band Soungarden was playing a show. He was also the lead singer in Audioslave and recorded as a solo act.

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