According to TMZ, Vicky Cornell filed a complaint in a Florida federal court today (December 9).
The complaint reportedly concerns the rights to several unreleased songs and what is described as “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in royalty payments that the claim states is “indisputably owed” to Cornell’s widow and children. Cornell died on May 17, 2017 after taking his own life.
Court documents according to Pitchfork claim that Cornell’s former bandmates are attempting to “strong-arm Chris’ Estate into turning over certain audio recordings created by Chris before he passed away.”
It goes on to claim that the recordings were “solely authored by Chris; contain Chris’ own vocal tracks; and were bequeathed to Chris’ Estate.”
Later, the claim also goes on to say that Soundgarden have “resorted to pressure tactics, harassment, unlawful conversion of royalties, and extortion” by suggesting that Vicky is blocking the release of new music.
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I have been taking time these past few weeks to be grateful for all the good people around me and for those who have lifted me up at the very worst times in my life. The silver lining, during the storm, is finding and appreciating the subtle glow of those who sincerely support you in your life unconditionally. However, sometimes while you grieve the one you physically lost, you realize that you must now grieve the loss of some of those you considered friends and family as well. I am shocked at how often this occurs. It’s not just me, or the rock-star widow, or the political widow; it is the case for the vast majority of women after their partners have passed. It transcends socio-economic class, race, and religion. It is an unpleasant and unfortunately all too common theme. Hard-hearted family members, friends, and business associates; who will exploit a widow’s vulnerability when she’s broken and alone. These other people who have decided that her time is up as well. Through support groups and other widowed friends, and during both difficult and supportive conversations, I have learned that I am not a unique case. This seems to be the inevitable plight of the widow in this world and I cannot help feeling angry, sad and betrayed. I will not be bullied or shamed into silence. I will not accept something so wrong, so lacking in compassion or decency, even with the clear but unspoken threat of social rejection hanging over me. This was not the way I would have chosen to move forward. But I will not be pushed aside for someone else’s convenience or gain. I will not sacrifice our children’s futures for someone else’s greed. And I will not let someone else make me feel shame because the man I loved was taken from all of us too soon. I will do justice by my husband’s work and memory; for our children and for everything we stood for. I want to thank everyone who has stood by Chris and has supported us through this devastating time. Your love and your kindness will never be forgotten. #chriscornell forever 🖤
In a lengthy statement on Instagram, Vicky added: “This was not the way I would have chosen to move forward. But I will not be pushed aside for someone else’s convenience or gain. I will not sacrifice our children’s futures for someone else’s greed. And I will not let someone else make me feel shame because the man I loved was taken from all of us too soon.
“I will do justice by my husband’s work and memory; for our children and for everything we stood for. I want to thank everyone who has stood by Chris and has supported us through this devastating time. Your love and your kindness will never be forgotten.
#chriscornell forever.” You can read the full statement above.
The news comes after Kim Thayil said last month that a new Soundgarden album featuring the vocals of the late Chris Cornell was “entirely possible” in the future.
When asked if the album would ever see the light of day, Thayil said: “It is entirely possible, because that’s what we were doing…We definitely have another record in us. Stuff that’s written, stuff that’s demoed and recorded — certainly.”
On foreseeing any issues with the release, Thayill later added: “There shouldn’t be — there really isn’t — other than the fact that we don’t have those files…And I think that will happen. It would be ridiculous if it didn’t. But these are difficult things — partnerships and property.”
Back in October, it was announced that Soundgarden were on the long list for this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominations alongside artists including Depeche Mode, Notorious B.I.G., Nine Inch Nails and Whitney Houston.