Vicky Cornell, widow of singer Chris Cornell, who died in 2017, has started a lawsuit against members of the band Soundgarden and their business manager. TMZ reports this on Monday. The band would try to withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties.
Vicky Cornell has sued the band members Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, Ben Sheperd and their business manager Rit Venerus. According to the indictment "they collapsed shamelessly to hold back hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties," which would actually belong to the deceased singer's family.
Chris Cornell, the singer of Soundgarden, died on May 18, 2017. Before his death, he made seven more audio recordings, in his own studio in Florida. According to the lawsuit filed, these recordings were not intended for the band, and were the exclusive property of Cornell.
After Cornell's death, the remaining Soundgarden members would have contacted his wife Vicky, because they wanted to use the recordings for a possible new album. They then agreed that they would share the recordings, provided that Vicky would be kept informed of the album marketing. She also wanted to work with a certain 'trusted' producer for the album.
However, according to the complaint, Vicky no longer has any control over the recordings. She accuses Soundgarden of having taken the rights to the recordings from her, so she will no longer receive royalties. She thinks the band is abusing her vulnerable status as a widow:
"It is shocking how often this happens. Not just with me, or with a rock star's widow, or with a politician's widow: almost all women who lose their partners (...) Family members with a heart of stone , friends and business partners: they exploit the vulnerability of a widow when she is broken and alone, "she said on Instagram.
Soundgarden says he is entitled to the recordings
The Soundgarden lawyer has written a letter stating that "all musical material that is saved on a hard disk by one or all of Soundgarden's members is owned by Soundgarden."