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Soundgarden Once Again Sued By Chris Cornell’s Widow (Updated)


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Update: February 17th, 2020 02:32 PM:

Blabbermouth.net have since obtained a copy of this latest suit filed against the band by Vicky Cornell and the Cornell Estate. They have chosen to republish some excerpts from it, detailing that Vicky at one point offered the band’s guitarist Kim Thayil, drummer Matt Cameron and bassist Hunter Benedict Shepherd $7 million dollars each for their respective shares in the band—an offer which the band collectively declined. Here’s what the aforementioned site published from the suit:

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“The band members have knowingly offered only an infinitesimal fraction of the true worth of Chris‘ interest in Soundgarden and certain related entities by making a ludicrously low offer. And, they know it. Before making their absurd offer, Soundgarden had previously received an independent third-party offer from a leading music investor for multi-millions more (even though that offer covered only recorded music and did not include any other Soundgarden assets).

Despite having this offer in hand, the band members offered Chris‘ wife and minor children a pittance. In fact, the band’s offer is so low that it even falls shy of the royalties that Vicky received for a single year (2018) from a single revenue source (Soundgarden‘s master recordings).”

“This is not the first time that the band members have sought to deprive Chris‘ minor children of the hard-earned fruits of his labor and talent. The band has already been sued once by Vicky for refusing to pay monies that they admit are owed to her and Chris‘ minor children.1 Now, Vicky, who wanted to avoid this action, has been forced to regrettably file suit based on the band’s continuing pattern of unconscionable misconduct.”

“In response to Defendants’ disingenuous offer, on December 17, 2020, Vicky counter-offered defendants Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, Hunter Benedict Shepherd four million dollars each — a total of twelve-million dollars (U.S. $12,000,000.00) — for their collective interests in Soundgarden and the Soundgarden Related Entities.”

“On December 29, 2020, Defendants summarily rejected Vicky‘s twelve-million dollar offer, noting that the Surviving Band Members have no interest in selling their interests in the Soundgarden Partnership ‘because these interests represent their creative life’s-work’ — a statement that both overreaches (because neither Cameron nor Shepherd were original members of Soundgarden) and overlooks (because the vast majority of the band’s works — over 73% — were authored by Chris and because Chris‘ interest in the Soundgarden Partnership also represents Chris‘ ‘creative life’s work’).

“In a final attempt to resolve this matter without judicial intervention (and without the need for yet another litigation), Vicky offered the Surviving Band Members seven million dollars each — a total of twenty-one million dollars ($21,000,000.00) — for their collective interests in the Soundgarden Partnership. Moreover, Vicky‘s offer expressly noted that, if the Surviving Band Members were willing to share the underlying information, her twenty-one million dollar offer may well increase further. The Surviving Band Members rejected the twenty-one million dollar offer and, once more, refused to share the underlying data.

The Surviving Band Members’ rejection of an offer of seven million dollars for each of their individual interests underscores the unreasonableness of Defendants’ insulting offer for Chris‘ interests in the Soundgarden Partnership.”

Original Story::

Vicky Cornell, the widow of late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, has once again filed suit against the surviving current members of the band. TMZ report that the latest suit stems from a disagreement over an offer from the band to buyout Chris‘ stake in the group’s recordings, which Vicky assumed ownership of following Chris‘ 2017 death.

According to TMZ, Vicky was unhappy with the $300,000 offer submitted her way by the Soundgarden camp for her late husband’s share. She also alleges that the band’s camp had received a $16 million offer for the rights to their master recordings from an outside investor. Given the apparent discrepancy between the alleged outside offer and what the band offered to pay her, she has now filed suit in a bid to have the courts properly assess the value of the group’s assets.

A representative for Soundgarden told TMZ of the proceedings:

“As requested by the Estate of Chris Cornell and as required by the laws of the State of Washington, the surviving members of Soundgarden submitted to the Cornell Estate four months ago a buy-out offer of the Estate’s interests in Soundgarden calculated by respected music industry valuation expert Gary Cohen.

Since then, the band members have continued to try to settle all disputes with the Cornell Estate and in their several attempts to settle, the band members have elected to offer multiple times more than the amount calculated by Cohen.

This dispute has never been about money for the band. This is their life’s work and their legacy.”

It was not made clear if the grunge legends are pursuing the potential outside offer for their masters or not. This latest legal dispute is but one of several the band and Vicky have been involved in since Chris‘ untimely passing. Other legal battles include claims of Vicky allegedly violating an agreement involving the funds generated by the 2019 Chris Cornell tribute concert. The band eventually dropped that claim.

The chief legal dispute between the two parties continues to be the ownership rights to seven studio recordings Chris Cornell had tracked prior to his death. The band allege those seven songs were meant for inclusion on a new album from Soundgarden and as such should be viewed as property of the collective band.

Vicky has disputed the matter, apparently insisting that they were instead the sole property of Chris and should be negotiated on as such. The band previously provided documentation and writing credits of those tracks as follows:

Road Less Traveled” (Chris Cornell/Matt Cameron)
Orphans” (Chris Cornell/Matt Cameron)
At Ophians Door” (Chris Cornell/Matt Cameron)
Cancer” (Chris Cornell)
Ahead Of The Dog” (Chris Cornell/Kim Thayil)
Merrmas” (Chris Cornell/Ben Shepherd)
Stone Age Mind” (Chris Cornell)

Vicky came into possession of those recordings upon Chris‘s death with the band still seeking to gain the proper rights to them to release them as part of what will likely be a final album from Soundgarden.

The bitterness of that legal dispute has also spilled outside of the courts, with Vicky alleging that the band had been withholding her late husband’s share of Soundgarden royalties in a bid to strongarm her to hand over the aforementioned unreleased recordings.

It has also seen the band branch off into their own social media accounts after a dispute emerged over the shared ownership of the Soundgarden social media accounts between Vicky and the group.

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