Chris Cornell's Wife Questions His Cause of Death, Doubts Prescription Drugs Were Involved

"When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different."

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Chris Cornell's Wife Questions His Cause of Death, Doubts Prescription Drugs Were Involved
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Chris Cornell's wife Vicky issued a statement on her husband's death, saying he had a prescription for Ativan - also known as Lorazepam - he may have taken a higher dosage of.

Attorney Kirk Pasich pointed out that Ativan can cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgement.

Vicky noted (via Variety):

"Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris - or if any substances contributed to his demise.

"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."

She also added:

"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.

"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.

"Thank you for that, and for understanding how difficult this is for us."

As reported, the police stated "there is absolutely no motive at this stage for this suicide."

119 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Joeseye
    I saw a documentary recently regarding Rio Ferdinand and his depression after his wife's death due to cancer. He mentioned that before her death he'd heard about people's suicides and thought "how could people do that to their kids?". However, after his own experience of loss he started flirting with those kinds of thoughts himself. Depression really does take one to know one. Your brain chemistry alters and the thought of ending your own life starts to become rational. It's nothing to do with cowardice. That's a fool's diagnosis.
    jonesmnomes
    Totally agree bro, whenever I struggle with suicidal thoughts I'm not thinking "I don't care about the consequences of my actions" I'm thinking "I literally cannot see any other way out of this situation given my current circumstances". People end their life out of desperation, not cowardice. Funnily enough, I took 6 different kinds of antidepressants and all of them increased my thoughts of suicide ten-fold. So I sincerely doubt that his prescription had nothing to do with his death, especially since he took more than the recommended dose which would increase those side effects. I hope the family get the support and counselling they need to deal with this difficult time.
    bulletv1
    I would see a different. Your depression may have been misdiagnosed if that many different medications have had that effect on you. It's very possible there's another underlying medical issue. 
    lukep1308
    I watched that too and it just shows you that grief can absolutely fuck your mind up if you don't deal with it properly.
    theblazinasian
    "Doubts Prescription Drugs Were Involved" Not to be insensitive, but the quotes in the article seem to indicate the opposite of this?
    skyturnedred
    May have been written by a non-native English speaker. For example, when translated "doubts" and "suspects" are the same word in Finnish.
    theblazinasian
    Yeah, I think UG's based in Russia, iirc. That's an interesting fact, and "suspects" would be an apt substitution. I figured it might be helpful to point out. The title made my first read of the article pretty confusing haha.
    Agent 00Awesome
    Man out of all the musicians deaths these past few years, Chris has been the roughest on me. It was way too sudden. He was a success story. He got clean, got his old band back together, released a successful comeback album, toured the world and was planning on more released. Then this? He was a role model for people battling demons. I'm still so confused..
    javdoc
    Agreed.  He seemed (I know, "seemed"...) like he had gotten through his most difficult times and came out wiser and thoughtful.  All his interviews seemed very positive and forward-looking.  To just appear to suddenly give up like this, is shocking and surprising. I also find this painful as I never could relate to Cobain's self-destructive angst, but Chris' introspective uncertainty about things capture my viewpoint in my 20s.  As someone roughly the same age (almost 48) with a couple kids about the same age as his, he was my voice.  Sadly now silenced....
    jimmyslashpage
    Agreed. I'm still torn up about this and usually celebrity deaths don't affect like this. I had Soundgarden tickets for a show in 10 days. Chris has been an idol of mine for a long time. 
    koalabacon
    Really hoping the full autopsy report sheds light onto this, and a cult following doesn't develop some weird conspiracy theory surrounding his death (like with Cobain). Everyones dealing with their own battles, even if you don't see it.
    dkorz
    Its pretty weird that the front men from nearly all of break out bands in the Seattle grunge scene are gone. Eddie Vedder should probably lock himself in a basement somewhere (though he wasnt originally from Washington.) I wouldn't see it as a conspiracy but more of a curse, like a Bruce/Brandon Lee thing.
    jekylhyde
    Well, Layne and Weiland were killing themselves with drugs for years, so I wouldn't call it a curse. Still, so sad that they are all gone. Way, way too young.
    d.floresumana
    This is so sad... 
    The9
    No what's sad is how his widow has to explain to the two children why they won't see him again
    flexiblemile
    Aren't those two things the same thing?
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    lukep1308
    the angle you are coming at with this comment is that he rationally took his own life, whereas suicide is anything but rational.
    PiricsiRemus
    What if he went mental from some stupid medication that an asshole doctor prescribed him have you thought about that Columbo ?
    nikolabrajic
    This is the kind of feeling that I had when Robin Williams died... I guess we'll never know what's going through other people minds. Some people hide pain better than others... You will be missed Chris, thank you for everything...
    eddiehimself
     "I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life." Unfortunately that is not the case. There is no such thing as a person who is immune from these problems. You really don't know how much of an all-consuming thing it is until you've been there yourself. Nothing good in your life can make you feel better in that moment. Absolutely nothing. 
    Mad-Mike_J83
    Sounds to me like he was taking Atavin for something, took too many, and was having bad thoughts.  Some of those medications have some nasty side effects and not all of them are physical.  He may not have been abusing and may just have fallen prey to the side effects.
    elcapitan1800
    From the FDA: "Other adverse reactions to benzodiazepines, including Ativan, are fatigue, drowsiness, amnesia, memory impairment, confusion, disorientation, depression, unmasking of depression, disinhibition, euphoria, suicidal ideation/attempt...." So tragic, we will never really know the full story. I feel for his family most, but who knows what those drugs were doing to his head and mental state? It's easy to judge, but impossible to really know. RIP, thanks for the amazing musical legacy you left behind.
    PiricsiRemus
    There's been countless suicides reported from antismoking drugs like chantix from people who weren't diagnosed with clinical depression,yet doctors still prescribe them i think we need to have a different conversation here, everybody should get of their whole romantic sucidal storyline this is not Kurt Cobain.
    JorshWarsh
    I agree. Taking benzos might work for you, but when they don't work anymore, then you really have nowhere left to go.  You're left inside your mind while addicted to a powerful drug that's useless.
    KewlBeans
    Watching the videos from the last show you could tell he was on something. He was off time in singing and playing and seemed tired/wandering perhaps it was this drug or he flirted with something else since he was on tour- either way it´s a shame. I even thought he was murdered since this was so unexpected and he isn´t the kind of person to not even leave a note 
    farcry
    10 years from now half the prescription drugs will be banned. Poor fucking family, lose your dad to this FDA approved garbage. This fucking bums me out, RIP Chris. Can only imagine his torment.
    zalant
    Your comment brings to mind all those "fine print" disclaimers on TV ads for prescription drugs. "...may cause suicidal thoughts, cancer, death, etc. So ask your doctor if it's right for you." Prescription drugs are a dual-edged sword in that they can both do great things and really, really fucked-up things to the human body. 
    suicidehummer
    There needs to be more oversight. Look at how drug companies knowingly overprescribed opiods and basically caused the current epidemic. It's insane. Profit over human lives.
    Drowning!Waving
    uhhh doctors prescribe pain meds not drug companies.
    suicidehummer
    My bad, I meant to say overproduced. John Oliver did an episode on it recently. For example, they sold some insane number of pills to a small pharmacy in the middle of nowhere over several years.
    Wiencon
    Grunge artists should be taken under some safety umbrella, the most talented leave too soon
    zack2k
    Living with a mental illness and depression, it's kinda like you mix prescription pill with alcohol, this whole thing is not fun. all the tributes and reflection on his legacy and how good he was with his peer and the industry just made me sank into a deeper demo. Because he was loved by all the people around him and sad that it just took his toll to commit suicide. I feel like either I will end up in the situation or fight it through good and positive thoughts.  I'm just a general fan of his solo, Soundgarden, and Audioslave but after I heard the coroner said he hanged himself makes me feel like I'm (Not was) connected to him and understand it personally. I just hope this weekend would cheer up my mood because like Robin Williams, and few who chose this way? I will pray for them to live in peace in the afterlife. Rest in Peace Chris Cornell.
    Wisthler
    Thing is that the person you know is not the person you know when depression kicks in.
    jasperado
    i really seriously believe he erotic asphyxiated himself too hard, it happens to the best, thats my theory
    Glass_Ceiling
    We can never say it enough. .... Don't take drugs. Not even prescription drugs. It will only fuck up your mind and eventually kill yourself very slowly. Doctors nowadays don't even bother searching for the causes of an illness, they're only good at giving you stuff to treat the consequences and eventually poison yourself. That's fucked up. Yeah digging deep and searching for why your disease started in the first place isn't a good business, imagine a world where everyone would feel fine, no prescription drugs anymore, that would be real bad for the big legal drugs business, there are billions of dollars at stake.
    smittyanthrax
    Some people don't have a choice but to take prescription drugs.How about diabetics for a start?Or people who suffer from high blood pressure or heart failure?Do they just stop taking them and basically die?Not to take a pop at you but that's a bit of a silly statement.
    PiricsiRemus
    You're talking about two totally different things, psychiatrists admitted themselves that they have no idea how these drugs work yet they still prescribe them ,then every once in a while shit like this happens.
    suicidehummer
    I wouldn't make a blanket statement like that. I'd say get professional therapy first, and only if that doesn't work (after giving it a legitimate chance, like a year or more) should you try prescriptions, and of course be very careful with them. Some drugs have saved lives. but that doesn't mean they aren't also dangerous.
    proXy124c41
    I know speculation should be avoided, but perhaps a relapse (slurring voice)? Such a great musician. This must be so difficult for his family. 
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    jlawrenceball
    This is the sort of uniformed nonsense that people with mental health issues deal with on a daily basis. You wouldn't call someone with a cancer selfish, mental health issue can be and are a fatal condition
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    Saolsinarss
    [deleted]
    Saolsinarss · 6 days ago
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    eaglesfan378961
    [deleted]
    eaglesfan378961 · 6 days ago
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    Denjario
    [deleted]
    Denjario · 6 days ago
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    zack2k
    Good luck finding another music site, just flagged you for being extremely stupid person.
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    Northernmight
    So, you don't believe that people should have the right to, and power over, their own life?  That's the only notion of substance i can discern from your trolling.
    jekylhyde
    The9 - Shut up, read a book and develop some class. Stop acting like an asshole and educate yourself. 
    smittyanthrax
    Just a question regarding your stance on suicide.Is assisted suicide ok in your view  for people living with terminal illnesses?
    aidsteen2
    Considering he had a prescription for an antidepressant, chances are he was getting help already...
    Paperjace
    "Depression is beatable" This makes it clear that you have no idea what you're talking about. Just ignore this troll. Just trying to get a reaction out of people.
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    unjo88
    You're trying to intentionally irritate fans of a recently deceased musician. That's wonderful that you beat depression, but based on your complete lack of empathy for the death of a human being it seems like psychologically speaking you're still a few cans short of a six-pack.
    scottishmob
    [deleted]
    scottishmob · 6 days ago
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    unjo88
    Wait, you're insulting a dead man at the comfort of your own home through an internet connection with the term "Coward". I'm not even going to point out the irony here.
    Voodoochile711
    And what if the mind you require  to make the decision to get help is what's messed up? If someone has a severe mental disease, how do they know they even need help? How do they take their mind through the decision making process in order to get it themselves? Of course depression is beatable, but what if you don't even think or know you have it? 
    AfroFox
    You don't really know what happened so it's probably best that you keep the venom to yourself.
    eddiehimself
    This hatred and anger towards people who have taken their own lives comes from a place of fear. The fear that no amount of success, fame, fortune, family or friends is going to protect people from serious mental health problems. The fact that no-one is immune to it, as much as they try to separate themselves out from those who have died of suicide by saying "I'm not a coward" and all that utter bullshit. It's all about people who are scared to face up to the reality that this really can happen to anyone. You don't have to be a "weak person." Literally everyone has a breaking point. Everyone. 
    sillylily5534
    [deleted]
    sillylily5534 · 6 days ago
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    hudsonstradlin
    you're making a rational argument against suicide, but suicide isn't rational. what you're doing is describing a painting on the phone. have a little compassion. just because you're allowed an opinion, it doesn't mean that it needs to be shared, especially if it's disrespectful.
    scottishmob
    Suicide is not telling your kids you'll be at the store for just a second and leaving to an all night party. You need to stop treating it as if it is.
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    unjo88
    Could you cite how it is "good" to bully the dead? DID YOU know the man? Sounds like you have all of the answers with how you mentioned you "beat" depression.  I like the second sentence though, "Nothing 'good' about being a pussy who didn't care how his selfish acts would hurt others" as it ironically describes how brave you are talking shit to a dead man. Like, do you always just find a group of people who are mourning the death of someone and try to convince them not to mourn the life of the person? I get the whole trolling thing, shit I do it all the time. But this aint the time or place dude. If your parents commited suicide, I would tell you i'm sorry for your loss. Not parade around talking shit about them.  Calling someone a pussy through a keyboard is a pretty big indication that you are a coward.
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    scottishmob
    If his kids visited this site and saw the shit you are posting it could potentially add to what they're going through. Don't you know that when you type this stuff on your keyboard at your house that it doesn't stay in your house? This is a public place, it's not a bubble for just you - it's no different than you saying these things in a place where *lots* of people walk by (all day every day)  and you have no idea who heard what you said out loud because you can't see them. Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they're not real.
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    scottishmob
    I think you're incredibly ignorant and you have some delusion that relatives of famous people don't use the bathroom the same way you do because they're famous. One of his kids could have responded to your post - and you'd never even know it.
    scottishmob
    I'm gonna do an impression that is pretty spot on. The9 (basically): There is no way people who know or are related to this famous musician might see the shit I post on UG! UG is this small little site, almost no one knows about it! It's not the biggest tab website in the whole world! When you type "guitar tabs" into google UG isn't even the first site that appears by a huge margin! It wouldn't matter if it did though - famous people have a whole different internet than I do! I'm okay! Let me post some terrible stuff about this guy I don't even know! Done!
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    unjo88
    Let's just entertain your point you're trying to make. He's selfish, a coward, he's a jerk. I'll just play devil's advocate here for a minute. So assuming he is selfish and a coward, how does that make his death a good thing? How in any way does that diminish the pain of losing someone? Do you think that his family is happy, because "Well he was a selfish coward any" so his death does not matter?
    unjo88
    What excatly are you trying to accomplish here? You claim he's a coward because he could fuck up his children's lives. There's a billion ways you could have said that exact sentence with more respect. Its great that you are upset about this because of he hardships this will put his family through, but insulting him isn't going to accomplish anything unless you're just trying to taint what's left of his image. Could you explain how calling him a "bitch" will help bring his children closure? Could you tell me more about how his children are supposed to heal if their dead father is a "bitch". Since you're so concerned with his family, I'm curious how insulting the loved one they are mourning over will help his children. You do realize that your attitude towards what he did will only contribute to how fucked up his children's lives will be? Here we all are mourning and paying respect to a wonderful human being and all you can do is insult the guy because there's "nothing good about a pussy whose selfish actions hurt others". So you're against people doing a selfish act that hurt other people? Why are you criticizing (doing a selfish act) people that are mourning a beloved musician (hurting other people, his fans with your ridiculous mindset) and accusing him of being a "bitch". Are You going to show up here everytime a musician dies young and blame the musician? If a musician dies of lung cancer at the age of 65, are you going to call him a "bitch" because he couldn't kick the habit, and how superior you are to them because at your ripe age of 18, you quit your 50 year smoking habit (your logic lines up with this kind of math) and how selfish they are for not quitting something that kills themself? Based on your complete lack of respect, I assume you are a member of the westboro Baptist church.
    jasperado
    communist rebel? thats way cooler than the poop award, when did they stop giving poops away?
    theoliraptor
    Did you even read the article before deciding to throw insults around on every Cornell related article? His wife, who I daresay is someone who knew Chris Cornell better than you did, believes it was an accidental death, not an intentional suicide. How about waiting until the full details of his death are revealed before calling the much loved man a coward?
    cav22s
    Hi I am 30 years old and was first diagnosed with depression when I was a 15 I have battled it all my life and I am currently taking medication. I had a traumatic child hood and also have ptsd. i have tried to take my life several times. I want to say that the real victims in this situation are Chris's children. I feel so horrible for them and it was in fact a really shitty thing for Chris to do to them. Depression is very powerful but when you become a father your children must come first.
    The9
    Finally someone who sees sense
    Matsutsuki86
    [deleted]
    Matsutsuki86 · 6 days ago
    The9
    [deleted]
    The9 · 6 days ago
    Matsutsuki86
    [deleted]
    Matsutsuki86 · 6 days ago
    Redfinton22
    You strike me as someone who is literally not intelligent enough to have ever dealt with mental illness..
    breadfan82
    I love Cornell's work, and have for most of my life, but I have to ask...is anyone else sort of waiting for Gene Simmons to say something fucking awful about this?
    Redfinton22
    This whole thing has me pretty upset too but on the bright side it's really nice to only see two commenters so willingly, vocally, almost proudly misinformed about mental health. It wasn't that long ago that it would have been ten or twenty of these people. Thanks UG community  
    MessyNed
    if you watch/listen to their performance of "My Wave" you can clearly see that Chris Cornell isn't hitting his high notes very well, his singing is off key and timing was off from the music as well. Makes you wonder what was going on... check out the video here: 
    His vocals were lagging all night, not in sync with the music (was he on something??). He even said “I feel bad for the next city” ... at the time, it was comprehended as though the Detroit crowd was so upbeat, it will be hard for Ohio to match it. Or was he foreshadowing his pending suicide?? The fact that his wife was worried about him was alarming enough... sounds like she had suspicion or reason to feel that way (slurred speech?). I read an article that said Cornell was chatting with fans after the Detroit gig outside of the venue, that was sometime after 110PM, he was found dead just after midnight... crazy to think that it was an impulsive decision, I feel he made his mind up already... but I'm still struggling to actually believe he killed himself, so fuckin strange!?  And their last song was Slaves & Bulldozers with Zeppelin's "in my time of dying" in which he sang the lyrics:  "In my time of dying I want nobody to mourn All I want for you to do Is take my body home Well, well, well So I can die easy" ... cryptic especially if he knew what was coming... Apparently he was sober since early 2000's but once an addict, always an addict (slips, trips & falls almost always seem to happen!?). I'm glad I got to see Soundgarden a few times in the past & Temple of the Dog last November in NYC... I'll always have that I guess. It's a damn shame though... RIP Chris. 
    Koshunae
    I know people who, after having a breakdown, were put on lorazepam as an anti-anxiety. After taking it, they become very spaced-out. They lose their ability to really grasp what is going on. This is mostly in my experience.  In my mind, this drug is to be avoided at most costs. When you're treating anxiety with a pill that causes paranoia and suicidal thoughts, you're not solving any problem. You're making it worse.
    PiricsiRemus
      [h]Lorazepam side effects[/h] Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to lorazepam: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have: [list] [*]severe drowsiness; [*]thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself; [*]unusual changes in mood or behavior; [*]confusion, aggression, hallucinations; [*]worsened sleep problems; [*]sudden restless feeling or excitement; [*]muscle weakness, drooping eyelids, trouble swallowing; [*]vision changes; or [*]upper stomach pain, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). [/list]
    Batmantera
    Its a Seattle grunge movement conspiracy. Someone's been knocking off all the pioneers of grunge by making it look like suicides. Watch your back Eddie Vedder. But seriously, Cornell is one of my favorite singers of all time and definitely the best from the early 90s on.
    frenchabortion
    Lorazepam don't do shit. Really they're only good for date rape. If you take one 1ml for every beer you've had it's like you had 6.  I used to run scripts, but nah that sure as shit ain't got nothing to do with his death. It's an anti-anxiety thing, dissolve it under your tongue 
    Batmantera
    Is running scripts slang fir being a pharmacist? If so, 1. you along with everyone else in the medical profession would know that drugs affect everyone differently. 2. If its "good for" date rape, then that means it can make people do something they wouldn't normally do or want to do. Couple that with how it has KNOWN side effects of suicidal and paranoid thoughts, it could definitely affected his decision. 3. You are a complete idiot who apparently date rapes people.