SOUNDGARDEN REsponds to CHRIS CORNELL’s Widow’s Lawsuit
SOUNDGARDEN has finally responded to a lawsuit filed by CHRIS CORNELL’s wife Vicky Cornell who has claimed ownership over her husband’s final recordings. SOUNDGARDEN filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit yesterday. Vicky Cornell’s lawsuit was failed against the band members including KIM THAYIL, MATT CAMERON, BEN SHEPHERD and their manager RIT VENERUS who were accused of witholding royalties owed to CHRIS CORNELL’s estate to force her hand in returning demos made before her husband’s death in 2017.
SOUNDGARDEN’s response claims that the unreleased tracks were recorded before 2017 and they “significantly predate 2017” with some going as far back as 2015. SOUNDGARDEN has pointed to public interviews given by CHRIS CORNELL and KIM THAYIL in which they mention an on-going project and “emails between the band members (including Cornell) exchanging audio files and lyrics, file metadata through Dropbox and other tangible evidence such as full ‘live’ audio recordings of the band working on and performing the songs at its Seattle studios.”
SOUNDGARDEN has also denied her accusation that they are witholding royalties stating that no member is getting paid royalties at this time as expenses are being dealt with first and then royalties will be distributed. The band also has jurisdictional questions, because the original lawsuit was filed in Florida – not in SOUNDGARDEN and its members home state of Washington home base. Finally, they say Vicky Cornell’s complaint was initiated without notice.
For her part Vicky Cornell’s suit argues that seven songs were solo recordings, saying there was no explicit ownership agreement with the band. She said she consented to share the songs for a future SOUNDGARDEN release, as long as they used a “trusted producer” and involved her in the marketing strategy. The band brought in a different person to oversee the sessions and refused to allow Vicky Cornell to be approved in the marketing strategy.
Vicky Cornell’s attorney Marty Singer would respond in a news release to SOUNDGARDEN’s statement saying
“We obviously disagree with the band’s blatant mischaracterization of events, and stand by the truthful facts set forth in our complaint “It is disappointing that Chris’ former band members have now sought to taint his legacy by making numerous false allegations, and that they continue to withhold substantial monies from his widow and minor children – despite using those same funds to pay for their own legal fees. The issue in this case is not who wrote the songs but rather who owns the specific recordings made solely by Chris while he resided in Florida.”
While the dust settles, Vicky Cornell is holding onto the master recording files, temporarily halting plans for a final album with Chris Cornell. “We don’t have possession of our own creative work,” the band would say in a separate statement. SOUNDGARDEN’s final studio record remains 2012’s “KING ANIMAL.”