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Soundgarden Drop Benefit Concert Counterclaim Against Widow Of Chris Cornell


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The ongoing legal battle between the widow of late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and the band’s surviving members has taken another turn. The latest development finds the group dropping a counterclaim they filed against Vicky Cornell in regards to the proceeds of the January 16th, 2019 ‘I Am the Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell‘ concert.

That set saw the band’s Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd reunite onstage to perform Soundgarden material together for the first time since’s Chris‘ death. They were joined by various special guests throughout that set.

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This past May, the band filed a counterclaim against Vicky after alleging they had been duped into performing at the benefit concert on the condition that the over $1.3 million generated from it would go towards charity.

In their counterclaim, the band alleged that Vicky had instead used that money for personal gain. Vicky and her attorney Marty Singer disputed these claims, stating the band were paid $78,000 to perform and that over $650,000 was donated to the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation.

Documentation of the funds being put towards that foundation and the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation appears to have been presented with Singer requesting the court sanction the band. While the band allege their claim was ‘well-founded”, they have since voluntarily dismissed it. Singer commented on the matter to The Hollywood Reporter:

“When we threatened Soundgarden with the undisputed facts that their claims concerning Vicky Cornell and the Cornell Charitable Foundation were disgraceful and fabricated by requesting the court sanction them for their appalling conduct, they caved in and agreed to drop their claims. We were looking forward to having the court make Soundgarden and their attorneys accountable for their shameful conduct, but they instead backed off their meritless claims since they knew they would lose the Rule 11 motion, which is used in court to punish and deter parties and their attorneys from pursuing objectively frivolous claims.”

While that matter has been resolved, the heart of the ongoing legalities still centers on the ownership of the final studio recordings of Chris Cornell in regards to his work with Soundgarden.

The band assert several recordings Cornell had been working on prior to his death were for what would have been a new Soundgarden album, one which the band hope to complete and release. Upon Chris‘s death Vicky physically came into possession of those recordings, allegedly insisting that they were the sole ownership of Chris.

She is alleged to have offered to provide the recordings to the band with select terms, including the involvement of a preferred producer and moreā€”terms which the band turned down. According to the band, the disputed songs and their respective writing credits include:

Road LessĀ Traveled” (Cornell/Cameron)
Orphans” (Cornell/Cameron)
At Ophians Door” (Cornell/Cameron)
Cancer” (Cornell)
Ahead Of The Dog” (Cornell/Thayil)
Merrmas” (Cornell/Shepherd)
Stone Age Mind” (Cornell)

Vicky has also alleged that the band have been withholding her late husband’s share of the royalties from Soundgarden recordings in a bid to get her to hand over the unreleased songs. There’s a few more gripes to be settled in the matter (the band being unhappy with Vicky‘s access to the official Soundgarden social media platforms and more). Currently that dispute is still set to go before the courts.

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