Chris Cornell's widow, Vicky Cornell, is suing her late husband's bandmates.
TMZ broke the news on Dec. 9, revealing that Vicky is claiming that the surviving members of Soundgarden are, as TMZ writes, "withholding hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties owed to her and Chris' minor children."
Vicky's accused the band of an "unlawful attempt to strong-arm Chris' Estate into turning over certain audio recordings created by Chris before he passed away." The singer died by suicide at 52 following a Detroit concert with Soundgarden in May 2017.
In court documents obtained by TMZ, Vicky claims there is a dispute over seven tracks she says were "solely authored by Chris; contain Chris' own vocal tracks; and were bequeathed to Chris' Estate."
Band members, TMZ reports, dispute Vicky's claim and insist that they and Chris had been "working on the files in a collaborative effort." In a letter to Vicky, they said, in part, "The entire band was feeling very positive about their rekindled artistic energy and creativity" before the music star's tragic death. The musicians also listed some members as co-songwriters with Chris on five of the seven tracks in question.
According to Vicky, she's open to sharing the recordings with the band so that, as TMZ writes, "they can be released in a way that respects Chris' wishes — including having his producer involved," but Vicky claims the band has refused her offer.
Vicky further lashed out at Soundgarden lead guitarist Kim Thayil: She's accused him of, as TMZ writes, "putting her family in harm's way by suggesting [Vicky is] the main obstacle to Soundgarden putting out another album." Court docs further claim Vicky believes that Kim knows Chris worked on the seven songs by himself.
Vicky's endgame? As TMZ explains it, she "wants the judge to declare Chris' estate the sole owner of the unreleased tracks … and force the band to fork over the alleged unpaid royalties."
Vicky is no stranger to court battles involving her family. A year ago, she and her two kids with Chris, Toni and Christopher, sued the rocker's doctor, alleging that drugs the physician prescribed to the singer — the anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam in particular — led to erratic behavior that ultimately led to his death, Stereogum reported.
Vicky and her family claimed the doctor "negligently and repeatedly" prescribed "dangerous mind-altering controlled substances to Chris Cornell which impaired Mr. Cornell's cognition, clouded his judgment, and caused him to engage in dangerous impulsive behaviors that he was unable to control, costing him his life."
One major issue is that the rock star's autopsy report concluded that "drugs did not contribute to the cause of death," Rolling Stone reported.
Earlier in 2019, Vicky asked a court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Chris's ex-wife Susan Silver — the mother of his eldest child, daughter Lily — that alleged Chris's estate and Vicky owed child support and school expenses for Lily. According to Vicky, Chris had "paid all obligations to date," The Blast reported in September.