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Soundgarden countersue Vicky Cornell - allege she used cash from charity concert for “personal purposes”

Soundgarden
Soundgarden (Image credit: UMC)

In December last year, Vicky Cornell, the widow of Chris Cornell, issued legal proceedings against Soundgarden (opens in new tab).

Vicky sued the band, claiming they were withholding hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties which were owed to her and her family – with the legal wrangle also involving copyright issues over seven audio recordings made by Chris before his death in May 2017.

Now, Rolling Stone (opens in new tab) report that surviving Soundgarden (opens in new tab) members Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd are countersuing Vicky and the Chris Cornell Estate, calling her complaint an “offensive recitation of false allegations and accusations.” 

In legal papers filed at the US District Court of the Southern District of Florida on Wednesday, the band categorically deny “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 documents also allege that Vicky is in control of Soundgarden’s social media accounts, with the papers also addressing the copyright issue of the recordings that Vicky pointed to in her original Complaint.

Soundgarden also allege that money raised at the I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell charity concert at The Forum in Los Angeles on January 16, 2019, was used by Vicky for “personal purposes for herself and her family.”

Revenue from the concert benefitted the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation, but the papers claim: “All recipients of the revenue from the Cornell Concert have not been identified, and Vicky Cornell has failed to adequately respond to counter-plaintiffs’ formal and informal inquiries about how these revenues were used and expended.”

It adds: “Soundgarden is informed and believes and theron alleges that Vicky Cornell’s representation was false in that 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.”

The charity concert saw artists from across all musical genres perform, including Foo Fighters, Metallica, Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, Josh Home and Miley Cyrus (opens in new tab).

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.