Soundgarden drop benefit concert claims made against Vicky Cornell

Soundgarden (Image credit: UMC)

Soundgarden have dropped their claims against Vicky Cornell, after alleging she used money raised from the Chris Cornell benefit concert for “personal purposes for herself and her family.”

The band countersued Cornell’s widow back in May – a move which followed Vicky filing legal papers against Soundgarden in December last year

She claimed the band 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 Cornell before his death in May 2017.

In May, surviving Soundgarden members Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd called Cornell’s complaint an “offensive recitation of false allegations and accusations”, with the legal papers also claiming that “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.

“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.”

Now, after Vicky Cornell’s legal team threatened the Soundgarden members with legal sanctions and called their actions “shameful and objectively frivolous,” the band have “now agreed to voluntarily dismiss the Charity Concert Claims.”

Speaking with the Hollywood Reporter, Cornell's lawyer Martin Singer said: “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.

“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."

The money raised from the I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell charity concert at The Forum in Los Angeles on January 16, 2019, went to support the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation.

At the time of Soundgarden’s countersuit in May, Singer told Billboard: “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.”

The legal battle over the ownership of the seven audio recordings is set to continue.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.