Chris Cornell’s widow reveals late singer had relapse

Chris Cornell’s widow Vicky has opened up about the events leading to her late husband’s 2017 death, telling Good Morning America in an interview that the prescription drugs he was taking for a shoulder injury led to a relapse that consequently contributed to his death.

Cornell had been sober since 2003 when he was given a prescription for shoulder pain in 2016. Vicky Cornell told Good Morning America it was a prescription he shouldn’t have been given and eventually he fell back into addiction.

“Approximately a year before he died, he was prescribed a benzodiazepine to help him sleep,” Vicky said to Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts. “He had torn his shoulder. He complained that the pain in the shoulder was waking him up. In retrospect, I’ve learned it’s not supposed to be given to anybody who’s in recovery, and if you have to give it, you have to be closely monitored and it should not be given for more than two to three weeks. So, he relapsed. In a seven-day period, he took 20-something pills and in a nine-day period, 33.”

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Cornell was found dead in his Detroit hotel room on the early morning of May 18, 2017 after a show he performed the night before. His death was ruled suicide by hanging, with the coroner declaring drugs did not contribute to his death even though prescription drugs were found in his system. Vicky, who has disputed Chris would have wanted to commit suicide (“He wanted to be there for his family, for his children. He loved his live. He never would have ever left this world,” she told Good Morning America), says there were signs during the concert in Detroit that something wasn’t right with her husband.

“He was off-pitch,” Vicky said. “He forgot words. He walked off stage. Chris Cornell doesn’t do those kinds of things. He’s not that kind of a rock star.”

Vicky told Good Morning America she feels the influence of the prescription drugs was what caused her husband to hang himself following the concert.

“I don’t think that he could make any decisions because of the level of impairment,” she said.

Watch the full interview below:

Photo credit: By gdcgraphics [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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