NEW YORK: The widow of grunge rock icon Chris Cornell on Friday insisted he did not intentionally kill himself, saying the recovering addict’s judgement may have been impaired by prescription drugs.
Cornell, one of the most recognizable voices of Seattle’s grunge scene, was found hanging in his hotel room in Detroit shortly after he finished a show on Wednesday with his band Soundgarden, authorities said.
Wayne County’s medical examiner ruled the death a suicide. But his widow, Vicky Karayiannis Cornell, said the 52-year-old gave no indication he wanted to die.
She said that Cornell, who struggled with depression and substance abuse most of his life but had sobered up a decade ago, had been taking Ativan, a prescription drug used to treat anxiety. “When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do,” she said. “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 said. According to the US National Institutes of Health, Ativan can increase the risk of life-threatening conditions such as breathing problems.
Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2017