The ongoing legal drama between the surviving members of Soundgarden and Vicky Cornell, the widow of frontman Chris Cornell continues. In a new motion, the living members of Soundgarden countered Vicky's claims, and revealed in those documents that they found out about Chris' death over social media.
In December, Vicky sued the band over unpaid royalties and the rights to Chris' final recordings, seven tracks in total. Vicky argues that these tracks, which are Chris' final recordings were "solely authored by Chris; contain Chris' own vocal tracks; and were bequeathed to Chris' Estate" for the benefit of Chris' wife and kids.
Vicky has noted in the documents the conditions with which she was willing to share the recordings. Vicky claims she wanted to respect Chris' wishes and Chris' producer involved, something the band was not interested in.
Even though Thaiyl has avoided naming her directly in previous interviews, she accused Kim Thaiyl of turning the band's fanbase against her, making it seem like she is the main obstacle in getting new Soundgarden music released, when she argues it is the band which is the obstacle. She claims that Thaiyl knew Chris worked on the tracks solo.
Soundgarden has responded to the claims, saying they and Chris have been working on the files in a "collaborative effort." In a letter to Vicky, they write "The entire band was feeling very positive about their rekindled artistic energy and creativity" before Cornell died.
In a new court filing, the band insists they've been working on the new material since 2014, pointing to interviews Cornell did at the time acknowledging it. The band claim they were in the studio as recently as a month before Cornell's suicide, taking a break to do the tour, where Cornell eventually died.
Most tragically, the motion puts forth a timeline of events which reveals how the band found out about the death. Here is an excerpt of the motion:
The Band interrupted its April 2017 studio session in Seattle to begin a national tour starting on April 28, 2017. On May 14, 2017, the Band played in Kansas City, Missouri. After the show Cornell flew home to New York City. On May 17, he flew to Detroit, Michigan to join other Band Members for a Soundgarden concert that night at the Fox Theatre. Following the concert — as was customary — Thayil, Cameron, and Shepherd made the late night trip in the Band's tour buses to their next concert destination in Columbus, Ohio, where the Band had a concert on May 19. Cornell stayed behind at a Detroit hotel with the plan to fly on to Columbus, as was his normal practice because Cornell was unable to sleep on buses. As their buses were headed to Columbus in the early morning of May 18, the Surviving Band Members learned that Cornell had been found dead in his hotel room in Detroit after midnight (tragically, Cameron first saw a 'RIP: Chris Cornell' item on his Facebook page, called Thayil who was on the other bus, who then woke Shepherd, and they and their crew frantically searched news, social media and called friends and family, until they received the awful confirmation from their tour manager).
"Thayil, Cameron and Shepherd were utterly devastated to lose their beloved friend, brother, and comrade, and were in a state of shock. As they pulled their buses to the roadside, embraced each other, and struggled with what to do next, their tour manager advised them not to go back to Detroit as it would be swimming with police, press, and other media, and there was nothing positive that could be achieved. They also had a throng of highly-distraught crew and tour team members already in or headed to Columbus who needed support. So they organized a vigil in a conference room at their Columbus hotel, where they were accompanied by their crew, assistants and friends who hugged, wept and attempted to console each other for many hours."
Vicky Cornell's attorney issued this statement to TMZ shortly after the motion surfaced: