The legal feud between the surviving members of Soundgarden and Vicky Cornell continues. The three bandmates are countersuing Chris Cornell‘s widow on the grounds that she’s allegedly used the money from a 2019 tribute concert for her own use.
According to documents filed in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida, Miami division, and obtained by Rolling Stone, Matt Cameron, Kim Thayil and Ben Shepherd said they agreed to perform for free at last year’s show – the first time they’d played together since Cornell took his own life in 2017 – with the understanding that revenue generated would go to the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation. But, they claim, the “recipient(s) of the revenue … have not been identified.”
The three surviving Soundgarden members are citing “fraudulent inducement,” meaning that they believe “Vicky Cornell did not have the intention of using some or all of the revenue from the Cornell Concert for charitable purposes, but rather for personal purposes for herself and her family. .. [Her] representation was false, or exhibited recklessness and negligence as to its truth or falsity, for the purpose and intent of inducing Soundgarden into agreeing to perform at the Cornell Concert without compensation.”
They also claim that Vicky, without their permission, has taken control of the group’s social media accounts and that, under the band’s name, “removed fan comments, and has herself posted images and comments to publicly accessible band social media pages. Some of those postings by Vicky Cornell are intended to denigrate the band and surviving band members.”
In a statement, Marty Singer, Vicky Cornell’s lawyer, called the suit “salacious, scurrilous and vicious,” adding that the three musicians received $78,000 for the concert. “As Chris’ former band members are well aware, 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.”
Singer also shot back at the band on the matter regarding his client’s original suit, alleging that the surviving members are withholding seven vocal tracks that reportedly constitute Cornell’s final recordings: “Their transparently desperate counterclaims do not change the fact that they are the ones who have improperly asserted ownership of vocal recordings that were created solely by Chris and that they are the ones who have unlawfully withheld substantial sums of money from Chris’ widow and children.”
Soundgarden responded to Vicky’s suit in the filing, calling it “an offensive recitation of false allegations and accusations. Soundgarden categorically denies every material contention lobbed by Vicky Cornell, who filed her complaint — rashly and without good cause — with the true purpose of extorting Soundgarden into conceding rights to which she is not legally entitled, and of coercing Soundgarden to prematurely distribute Soundgarden funds to her.”
The band is demanding a trial by jury, with all compensation and damages to be determined by the court.