It comes after Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd recently alleged that Vicky Cornell used funds intended for charity for “personal purposes for herself and her family” after performing last year’s I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell concert.
They claimed that they had an “oral agreement” with Vicky Cornell to perform for free during and are said to have agreed that the proceeds from the show would go to The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation.
However, their recent countersuit alleged that the “recipient(s) of the revenue” from the concert “have not been identified”. As per the suit, the show “is believed to have raised many millions of dollars” and alleges “fraudulent inducement” on Vicky Cornell’s part.
At the time of the countersuit, Cornell’s attorney Martin Singer responded with a statement saying: “Every single penny of the proceeds generated by the concert were properly allocated and accounted for and their statements are not only false and defamatory but demonstrate the depths to which Chris’ former bandmates are willing to sink to tarnish his legacy.”
Now the band have dropped the claims after Vicky Cornell’s lawyers allegedly threatened the band with Rule 11 sanctions for filing “shameful and objectively frivolous”, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“When we threatened Soundgarden with the undisputed facts that their claims concerning Vicky Cornell and the Cornell Charitable Foundation were disgraceful and fabricated by requesting the court sanction them for their appalling conduct, they caved in and agreed to drop their claims,” Singer said in a statement.
“We were looking forward to having the court make Soundgarden and their attorneys accountable for their shameful conduct, but they instead backed off their meritless claims since they knew they would lose the Rule 11 motion, which is used in court to punish and deter parties and their attorneys from pursuing objectively frivolous claims.”
According to the filing, the band still believes those claims were “well-founded” but they’ve agreed to voluntarily dismiss them “for reasons communicated” to Cornell’s lawyers.
Back in December 2019, Vicky Cornell filed legal documents that were reported to concern the rights to several unreleased songs, and what was described as “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in royalty payments that were “indisputably owed” to Cornell’s widow and children.
In response, Soundgarden “categorically [denied] every material contention lobbed against them including that they were uncaring following Cornell’s death in 2017.”