Vicky Cornell, the wife of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, issued a statement Friday morning where she speculated whether her late husband’s suicide was the result of taking too much of his anxiety medication.
“Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend,” Vicky wrote.
“His world revolved around his family first and, of course, his music second. He flew home for Mother’s Day to spend time with our family. He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children. When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do.”
Following Soundgarden’s concert Wednesday night, Vicky noticed a change in her husband’s demeanor when they spoke on the phone after the show.
“When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him,” she continued. “What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life.”
Chris died Thursday morning at the age of 52. The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said Cornell hanged himself Wednesday after performing at a concert. But Cornell’s family said that without toxicology test results completed, they don’t know what caused his death.
WATCH BELOW: Chris Cornell dead: Soundgarden frontman and grunge icon dies at 52
According to lawyer Kirk Pasich, the 52-year-old musician had a prescription for the anti-anxiety drug. Ativan, a sedative, has side effects that can include drowsiness and dizziness, according to the National Institutes of Health.
“Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris — or if any substances contributed to his demise,” Pasich said in a statement release to The Associated Press. “Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages.
He continued: “The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.”
Cornell has battled addiction problems in the past. He told Rolling Stone in a 1994 interview that he started using drugs at age 13, and was kicked out of school at 15.
“I went from being a daily drug user at 13 to having bad drug experiences and quitting drugs by the time I was 14, and then not having any friends until the time I was 16,” he said. “There was about two years where I was more or less agoraphobic and didn’t deal with anybody, didn’t talk to anybody, didn’t have any friends at all.”
READ MORE: Remembering Chris Cornell
The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said Thursday it completed the preliminary autopsy on Cornell, but that “a full autopsy report has not yet been completed.”
Cornell was a leader of the grunge movement with Seattle-based Soundgarden — with whom he gained critical and commercial acclaim. He also found success outside the band with other projects, including Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, and solo albums. Soundgarden’s current tour kicked off in late April and was planned to run through May 27.
Grief-stricken fans left flowers at memorials across Seattle on Thursday for the musician whose forceful, sombre songs helped cement the city’s place in rock history.
The city’s Space Needle went dark at 9 p.m. for an hour in tribute to Cornell.
WATCH BELOW: Seattle’s Space Needle mourns loss of Chris Cornell by going dark
As tributes continued to pour in for Cornell following the news of his passing, Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello posted an emotional eulogy to his bandmate.
“I love you, brother,” the tribute began. “Thank you for your friendship and your humor and your intellect and your singular and unmatched talent. It was a great honor to know you as a friend and as a band mate.”
Cornell was born and raised in the city and was part of a close-knit group of artists who formed the foundation of what would become the grunge scene that exploded in the early 1990s, by combining the bombast of early 1970s heavy metal with the aggression and attitude of punk rock.
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— With files from The Associated Press