MIAMI FL (CelebrityAccess) — Vicky Cornell, widow of the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, has filed a lawsuit against the surviving members of the group over the rights to unreleased music and what she alleges are hundreds of thousands of dollars of unpaid royalties.
According to TMZ, which first reported the suit, the central focus of the lawsuit is rights to seven recordings. According to the suit, the seven tracks were solely authored by Chris; contain Chris’ own vocal tracks, and were bequeathed to Chris’ Estate” for the benefit of the family.
Victoria Cornell also alleges that the other members of the band have been withholding hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties owed to her as a means of leverage in the rights dispute.
She also accuses lead guitarist Kim Thayil of creating a dangerous situation for her and her family by his claims that she’s the sole impediment to the release of new Soundgarden material.
In a statement on Instagram, Cornell wrote: “I am shocked at how often this occurs. It’s not just me, or the rock-star widow, or the political widow; it is the case for the vast majority of women after their partners have passed. It transcends socio-economic class, race, and religion. It is an unpleasant and unfortunately all too common theme. Hard-hearted family members, friends, and business associates; who will exploit a widow’s vulnerability when she’s broken and alone. These other people who have decided that her time is up as well.”
A rep for Soundgarden did not respond to a request for comment, but as reported by Rolling Stone, a letter from the band included with the lawsuit claims that the recordings were a collaborative effort and that any “music content (instrumental and/or vocals, demos or rough recordings) stored on the hard drive by any or all members of Soundgarden (including any recordings containing only the performances of Chris Cornell intended for Soundgarden) constitutes Soundgarden partnership property.”
Victoria Cornell released a statement on the matter via Instagram.
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I have been taking time these past few weeks to be grateful for all the good people around me and for those who have lifted me up at the very worst times in my life. The silver lining, during the storm, is finding and appreciating the subtle glow of those who sincerely support you in your life unconditionally. However, sometimes while you grieve the one you physically lost, you realize that you must now grieve the loss of some of those you considered friends and family as well. I am shocked at how often this occurs. It’s not just me, or the rock-star widow, or the political widow; it is the case for the vast majority of women after their partners have passed. It transcends socio-economic class, race, and religion. It is an unpleasant and unfortunately all too common theme. Hard-hearted family members, friends, and business associates; who will exploit a widow’s vulnerability when she’s broken and alone. These other people who have decided that her time is up as well. Through support groups and other widowed friends, and during both difficult and supportive conversations, I have learned that I am not a unique case. This seems to be the inevitable plight of the widow in this world and I cannot help feeling angry, sad and betrayed. I will not be bullied or shamed into silence. I will not accept something so wrong, so lacking in compassion or decency, even with the clear but unspoken threat of social rejection hanging over me. This was not the way I would have chosen to move forward. But I will not be pushed aside for someone else’s convenience or gain. I will not sacrifice our children’s futures for someone else’s greed. And I will not let someone else make me feel shame because the man I loved was taken from all of us too soon. I will do justice by my husband’s work and memory; for our children and for everything we stood for. I want to thank everyone who has stood by Chris and has supported us through this devastating time. Your love and your kindness will never be forgotten. #chriscornell forever 🖤