Chris Cornell’s wife says it wasn’t suicide

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Chris Cornell’s wife says it wasn’t suicide

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DETROIT - Rock musician Chris Cornell’s wife on Friday disputed “inferences” that the rocker killed himself in a Detroit hotel room, saying he may have taken more of an anti-anxiety drug than he was prescribed.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said Cornell - the lead singer in Soundgarden and Audioslave - hanged himself early Thursday morning after performing at a concert Wednesday night. But Cornell’s family said that without toxicology test results completed they don’t know what caused his death.

On Friday, an official said the results of a full autopsy and toxicology tests could take days before they are completed and released.

Cornell, 52, was found unresponsive in his hotel room hours after he performed at a Soundgarden concert. According to the Detroit News, a police report says Cornell’s bodyguard gave him two prescription pills for anxiety after the concert. The bodyguard later found Cornell on the bathroom floor of his room with an exercise band around his neck, the newspaper reported.

The newspaper said it obtained the police report but doesn’t say how.

Vicky Cornell, Cornell’s wife, said that when she spoke to her husband after the Detroit show, he told her he may have taken “an extra Ativan or two.” According to lawyer Kirk Pasich, the 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 released to The Associated Press. “Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages.

“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.

“All the friends that I had were still [messed] up with drugs and were people that I didn’t really have anything in common with.”

AP
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