The Soundgarden-versus-Vicky Cornell legal saga took another turn. The former Soundgarden members dropped their counterclaim against Cornell, widow of former frontman Chris Cornell.
In the lawsuit, Soundgarden claimed that Vicky used funds from a charity concert for personal use. On Jan. 16, 2019, Soundgarden hosted their “I Am A Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell” concert with Vicky. It was the first time the group performed together since Chris’s suicide in 2017.
Soundgarden alleged that they verbally agreed with Vicky that all funds would go to the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation, but the recipients of the funds remained unidentified. They claimed that the concert raised millions of dollars, but that Vicky allegedly had the wrong intentions when she represented herself, instead using the money for personal and family matters.
Vicky’s legal team, in a statement, called the allegations “salacious, scurrilous and vicious.”
The origins of the legal feud go back to December when Vicky sued group members Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Hunter Benedict Shepard. She accused them of not paying royalties to Chris’s estate and forcing her to hand over unreleased recordings. She also named band manager Rit Venerus as a defendant.
Vicky claims Chris created the unreleased recordings without the band, which gives her rights over the music. The band members wanted to release their seventh studio album and would need Chris’s recordings for that to happen. They had previously been in negotiations with her.
The group denied all allegations against them in February. In response to her original lawsuit and accusations stemming from the charity concert, the group countersued in May.
Soundgarden have not released an album since 2012, but Cameron and The Pretty Reckless’s Tayler Momsen covered Soundgarden’s “Halfway There” to pay tribute to Chris Cornell in May. In February, Universal announced the group’s music was among several artists’ masters recordings lost in a 2008 vault fire.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat