Vicky Cornell, the widow of Chris Cornell, broke her silence on her husband’s suicide and what she thinks precipitated it in an interview with People Magazine. Cornell, an award-winning music artist and the lead singer of the rockband ‘Soundgarden,’ committed suicide on May 17th, 2017, and he was discovered dead in his hotel room shortly after.
But Vicky firmly believes her husband would not have committed suicide if he had been in his right mind. She blames another killer: prescription drugs.
“My Chris was happy, loving, caring and warm,” Vicky told People. “This was not a depressed man—it wasn’t like I missed that. What I missed were the signs of addiction.”
People relates that Cornell had struggled with substance abuse problems stemming all the way back to his childhood, but he had been clean since his last relapse in 2009. However, at the time of his death, prescription drugs, including the Ativan—an anti-anxiety medication—he had been prescribed to help him sleep.
“For Vicky, it’s clear that a drug relapse drastically altered his state of mind on the last night of his life,” writes People.
Vicky remembers her husband and the father of her two children fondly. “Chris was humble, sweet, kind and good, with the patience of [a] saint.”
But, she says, he wasn’t himself the night he committed suicide.
Vicky told People how, after his show in Detroit, Chris woke her up by remotely flicking their home lights on and off using the smart home system on his phone. Vick was alarmed, and she immediately called her husband.
“He was on a rant,” she shares. Immediately, she knew he had taken drugs. “I said, ‘You need to tell me what you took,’ and he just got mean. That wasn’t my Chris.”
She says she quickly called his bodyguard, Martin Kirsten, who informed her that Chris had been taking double his Ativan dose. Really panicking now, Vicky called her husband back, but he didn’t answer. She quickly sent Kirsten to Chris’ room, but it was too late. When he broke down the door, he found Chris slumped over in the hotel room bathroom, and EMTS pronounced him dead at the scene.
“Addiction is a disease,” says Vicky. “That disease can take over you and has full power.”
Vicky can’t help but wonder how she missed the signs that Chris had relapsed into addiction. “I relaxed, I guess,” she says. But she doesn’t have time to dwell on the past. She’s focused on helping her children cope while trying to find a sense of normalcy,” says People.
Vicky also says she’s sharing her story for one reason; she wants people to know the potential impact of prescription drugs. “I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure other children don’t have to cry like mine have cried.”
Please continue to pray for Vicky Cornell, her two children, and Chris's daughter from another relationship.