Soundgarden countersue Chris Cornell's widow for 'fraudulent inducement' over charity show
8 May 2020, 11:30 | Updated: 8 May 2020, 11:31
The Black Hole Sun band claim Vicky Cornell used money raised from the tribute gig to the late grunge icon for "personal purposes for herself and her family".
Soundgarden are countersuing Chris Cornell's widow Vicky Cornell.
The late Audioslave rocker and Soundgarden frontman tragically lost his life to suicide on 18 May 2017, aged just 52 years old, and a tribute concert took place last year to celebrate his life and legacy.
As reported by Rolling Stone, the surviving members of the band are now accusing Vicky Cornell and the Chris Cornell estate of "fraudulent inducement" for allegedly using funds intended for charity for "personal purposes for herself and her family".
A lawsuit obtained by the magazine - which was filed in the Southern District of Florida, Miami - argues that band members Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd claim that the band entered an “oral agreement” with Vicky Cornell to perform at I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell on 16 January 2019 on the understanding that the money raised would benefit The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation.
Rolling Stone reports that the suit claims though the concert "is believed to have raised millions of dollars," the "recipient(s) of the revenue" from the benefit concert “have not been identified."
It adds that "Vicky Cornell did not have the intention of using some or all of the revenue from the Cornell Concert for charitable purposes, but rather for personal purposes for herself and her family."
The countersuit also covers the topic of Vicky Cornell's alleged control of Soundgarden's social media accounts, claiming she has: "removed fan comments and has herself posted images and comments to publicly-accessible Band Social Media pages."
It adds: "Some of those postings by Vicky Cornell are intended to denigrate the Band and Surviving Band Members."
The countersuit follows a lawsuit filed by Vicky Cornell herself against the band in 2019, which claimed the band is withholding royalties over seven unreleased recordings Chris Cornell made before his untimely death in 2017.
The suit alleges there was never an explicit agreement that the songs were intended for Soundgarden, and Chris Cornell was the exclusive owner.
Soundgarden deny these claims in their countersuit, stating: "The Complaint is an offensive recitation of false allegations and accusations. Soundgarden categorically denies every material contention lobbed by Vicky Cornell, who filed her Complaint — rashly and without good cause — with the true purpose of extorting Soundgarden into conceding rights to which she is not legally entitled, and of coercing Soundgarden to prematurely distribute Soundgarden funds to her."
Representatives for Vicky Cornell have not commented on the new suit.
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