Chris Cornell: Soundgarden singer's widow opens up about his addiction battle in first TV interview

Vicky Cornell speaks out about the final days of the late Soundgarden singer

Ilana Kaplan
New York
Wednesday 21 February 2018 18:05 GMT
Widow of Chris Cornell opens up about singer's death and addiction

Chris Cornell's widow Vicky Cornell has opened up about the Soundgarden frontman's addiction and relapse that led to his suicide in a new TV interview.

Vicky opened up to Good Morning America about her late husband in her first interview since his passing in May 2017.

"He loved his life. He would never have ever left this world," Vicky Cornell said to Robin Roberts. "Our family was his everything. As soon as he got offstage, he was a dad, he was a regular dad."

But Vicky did address Chris' addiction, which was exacerbated when he was prescribed the strong painkiller benzodiazepine to help her husband sleep while he was battling a shoulder injury.

Vicky attributed that medication to her late husband's relapse.

She explained, "The brain of someone who has a substance use disorder is different from that of … someone who doesn't. He relapsed."

Vicky said "he took 20-something pills... And in a nine-day period, 33."

She used the interview on Good Morning America to bring attention to addiction saying it "doesn't discriminate."

“You think addiction is a choice, and it's not. I think that if there was less stigma around it, more people would speak up," Vicky said to Roberts. "My husband was the furthest thing from a rock star junkie. He just wasn't. He was the best husband, the greatest father. I lost my soulmate and the love of my life."

Just two months before his death, Cornell had reached out to a friend writing "Would love to talk, had relapse."

On May 18, 2017, the 52-year-old Soundgarden frontman walked offstage during Soundgarden's concert.

Video of Chris Cornell's last gig

He was found dead in his Detroit hotel room later that night of an "apparent suicide," which was determined by the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office.

Medical reports claim there were seven different drugs found in his system, and they didn't contribute to his death. Vicky insists there's more to the story.

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