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Soundgarden Issue New Response To Buyout Lawsuit From Chris Cornell’s Widow


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The Soundgarden camp have issued a new response to the recent lawsuit filed against them by Vicky Cornell, the widow of the band’s late frontman/guitarist Chris Cornell. That new lawsuit pertains to potential buyout offers regarding interests in the band’s music made by both camps. The group said in their latest statement:

“The buyout offer that was demanded by the Estate has been grossly mischaracterized and we are confident that clarity will come out in court. All offers to buy out our interests have been unsolicited and rejected outright. For more than a year, Soundgarden’s social media accounts have been hijacked; misleading and confusing our fans. Being a band from Washington State since 1984, we are proud of Soundgarden’s musical legacy, work and career. We look forward to completing the final Soundgarden album.”

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Their statement touched upon the various disputes currently brewing between the band and Vicky Cornell, who heads up the estate of her late husband and inherited his interests in the group upon his death.

Vicky‘s latest suit against the band finds her seeking a court-ordered valuation of the band’s assets after disputes erupted regarding a potential buyout late last year. It is alleged that the band sought to gain control of the interest Chris Cornell held within their music from Vicky, offering her a $300,000 offer for that respective stake. It is said they based that figure on the judgment of ‘respected music industry valuation expert’ Gary Cohen.

Vicky felt that this was a ‘villainously low’ offer and pointed out that the band had been approached by a 3rd party investor for the rights to their master recordings for an offer of $16 million. The band rejected that offer. Vicky alleges that she first made a $12 million offer herself, which was rejected, before ultimately offering $21 million to the band for their collective interests in the Soundgarden partnership. The group are said to have also rejected that offer.

Beyond that, the grunge outfit’s latest statement also touches upon the ongoing dispute they have over control of the Soundgarden social network profiles. It has been stated in the past that they were unhappy with how Vicky was conducting herself on the profiles while they previously shared ownership of them. The band claim that they were pushed out of them by Vicky, forcing them to create their own social media accounts.

In a countersuit filed by the band against Vicky in May of 2020, the group claimed that Vicky was posing as ‘Soundgarden‘ on the social media profiles without their permission. They also alleged that she “removed fan comments and has herself posted images and comments to publicly-accessible Band Social Media pages. Some of those postings by Vicky Cornell are intended to denigrate the Band and Surviving Band Members.”

And finally the statement mentions the fate of a final studio album from Soundgarden. The group and Vicky are still engaged in a separate legal battle over the final recordings Chris Cornell laid down prior to his death. The band claim that those songs were written for the intention of a new Soundgarden album and should be negotiated on as such.

Vicky is said to have disputed this and views them as being property of Cornell himself. The waters are further muddied in that situation by court papers apparently having shown that the band did not have a written partnership agreement in place.

The unreleased songs being sought are alleged to have various co-writing credits from several members of the band, as the group provided the below documentation in regards to them in a past filing:

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)

That separate suit has also seen Vicky allege that the band have in the past withheld the share of royalties generated from her husband’s interests in Soundgarden in a bid to strongarm her into turning over the aforementioned unreleased songs. Further info on the various lawsuits and more statements from each party can be found here.

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