Family of musician Chris Cornell disputes he killed himself

Wife says Ativan contributed to suicide of Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell's wife questions official cause of death

Cornell's cause of death has been determined as suicide by hanging. FILE - In this February 13, 2013 file photo, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden performs during the band's concert at the Wiltern in Los Angeles. Cornell's family and wife, Vicky Cornell, are now questioning that account. The band had six shows left on their tour schedule starting with Friday night's show in Columbus.

Early Wednesday, the day of Cornell's death, Momsen had shared a photo of Soundgarden's albums and wrote about how wonderful her tourmates were. Speaking to TMZ, Vicky Karayiannis told the publication that she did indeed talk to her husband hours before he passed away, and he did not, in any way, appear depressed or suicidal.

Karayiannis explains that she spoke to Cornell before his Fox Theatre concert and the couple discussed future plans, including a holiday over Memorial Day weekend. "When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him".

Ativan (lorazepam) is a benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety, drug withdrawal, agoraphobia and seizure disorders, among other things.

ET spoke to the Soundgarden frontman - who died on Wednesday at age 52 - in 1992 about his band's place in the burgeoning Seattle music scene, which produced such influential rock acts as Pearl Jam, Nirvana and his own.

"The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions", Pasich said. His main addiction, however, was alcohol, and he would spend some time in rehab to conquer his vices.

Cornell had become one of the most lauded and respected contemporary lead singers in rock music, thanks to his charismatic energy onstage and wide vocal range. Read her statement below. But Cornell's family said that without toxicology test results completed, they don't know what caused his death.

Chris' wife Vicky alerted security staff and asked them to check on her husband, a recovering alcohol and drug addict, as she was anxious he had taken Ativan, also known as Lorazepam, a prescription anti-anxiety medication used to treat addiction problems.

"It was a pretty dark album lyrically and pretty depressing, and I was going through a really hard time in my life - my band wasn't together anymore, my marriage was falling apart and I was dealing with it by drinking way too much, and that has its own problems, particularly with depression", he told Rolling Stone in 2015.

Latest News