Chris Cornell’s death was ruled a suicide on Thursday, but his family has their doubts.
His family claims that prescription drugs may have played a role in his decision to hang himself in the bathroom of his Detroit hotel room on Wednesday night. They are bringing attention to the more than “recommended dosage" he may have taken of Ativan, which is used to treat anxiety, drug withdrawal, agoraphobia, and seizure disorders. Some of the rare but possible side effects include worsening depression, unusual mood or behavior, and thoughts of hurting yourself, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Cornell’s family attorney said in a statement, "Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris — or if any substances contributed to his demise. 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.”
On Friday, Cornell’s wife Vicky opened up on his sudden passing in a statement, saying, "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. His world revolved around his family first and of course, his music, second.”
Vicky also reflected on the 52-year-old's last week alive, sharing, "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.”
As for the last time she spoke to Chris, Vicky commented, "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. 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.”
A month before his death, Chris and his family attended the NYC premiere of “The Promise,” which features one of his songs.