Vicky Cornell has fired back at the surviving members of SOUNDGARDEN after they filed a countersuit against Chris Cornell's widow and his estate, accusing them of misappropriating funds raised from a Los Angeles benefit concert.
In the counterclaim, filed in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd and Matt Cameron accuse Vicky Cornell and Chris's estate of "fraudulent inducement" for allegedly using revenue intended to be raised for charity for "personal purposes for herself and her family." The suit claims that the "I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell" January 2019 show generated "many millions of dollars" but that the "recipient(s) of the revenue … have not been identified." "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 musicians say in the suit.
In the counterclaim, Thayil, Shepherd and Cameron also accuse Vicky Cornell of controlling the band's social media accounts and removing fan comments as well as posting images and comments to SOUNDGARDEN's social media pages that "are intended to denigrate the Band and Surviving Band Members."
"It is unfortunate that Chris Cornell's three former bandmates — who have made millions of dollars from Chris' hard work, talent and creativity — continue to attack Chris' legacy, his widow, and his young children by making salacious, scurrilous, and vicious allegations in order to distract from the truth," Vicky Cornell's lawyer Marty Singer responded in a statement to Rolling Stone. "Their transparently desperate counterclaims — which were intentionally filed shortly before the eve of the anniversary of Chris' death and the eve of Chris and Vicky's wedding anniversary — 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 (which is the very basis for the current lawsuit).
"Suffice it to say that Vicky Cornell and the Cornell Estate vehemently deny the supposed 'facts' contained in SOUNDGARDEN's counterclaims, which will be met with swift legal action. It is ironic that Chris' former bandmates now feign outrage over the 2019 Chris Cornell Tribute Concert conducted by Chris's foundation — which raised over $1 million for the Charity Foundation and paid over $650,000 for EBMRF for medical research and which has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue of who owns Chris' vocal recordings — when SOUNDGARDEN received over $78,000 to perform at the charity 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.
"It is also ironic that, after spending substantial time and attorneys' fees (paid for out of the monies owed to Chris' estate) arguing that the Florida court system lacks personal jurisdiction over them, Chris' former bandmates have now sought relief from that very same court system by filing their counterclaims."
Vicky herself also personally took the SOUNDGARDEN members to task for their allegations, writing in her Instagram Stories: "As my beloved Chris would say, 'They've reached a whole new low.' A very easily disproven one…
"When you attack the foundation, you attack my husband's legacy. The foundation has nothing to do with the issue of who owns Chris's vocal recordings. Their knowingly false allegations are a deliberate attempt to not just harm my credibility but the Foundation my husband and I created and everything WE stand for…"