After a year and a half of contentious litigation, Soundgarden and Vicky Cornell, the wife of late singer Chris Cornell, have reached a temporary agreement on at least one piece of the ongoing lawsuit.
Under the agreement, which both sides announced Wednesday morning, Soundgarden and its management team will take control of Soundgarden’s social media channels and website, which Vicky Cornell had been operating. Through the courts, the band had previously sought an injunction against Cornell and accused her of locking the band out of the accounts after Chris Cornell’s death and the ensuing legal battle between the two sides.
In the interim, Soundgarden’s surviving members Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd had launched social media handles of their own under the anagram Nudedragons, a name the band used for its famous 2010 reunion at the Showbox.
According to the band’s representatives, the deal includes Soundgarden’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram handles and took effect Tuesday. News of the accord comes after a scheduled Tuesday hearing in U.S. District Court’s Western District of Washington around Soundgarden’s injunction request, which the band abruptly pulled yesterday.
“The agreement marks a productive first step towards healing and open dialogue, and the parties wish for the social media accounts to celebrate the Band’s accomplishments and music while continuing to honor Chris’ legacy,” both camps wrote in a joint statement.
“Through our joint social media efforts and our temporary agreement, my family, along with the surviving members of Soundgarden, hope to celebrate Chris and his music out of mutual respect and love,” said Vicky Cornell in a separate statement. “We all recognize the profound pain caused by Chris’s tragic loss and the path it has taken us down.”
In one of its first posts back at the reins, Soundgarden called on fans to play nice in the comment sections and refrain from posting “discussions or inane conspiracy theories casting blame for harm to Chris Cornell.” The band pledged to remove such comments and said that repeat offenders will “lose the opportunity to continue commenting on our site.” Vicky Cornell has previously said that she and her family have endured online harassment since the singer’s death in 2017.
“We are super stoked to have our socials return to discussions and posts about being in a [expletive] great ROCK BAND!!!” Soundgarden wrote. “Remember the guitars, drums, vocals and volume?!!! No more comments about wives, children, exes, significant others, siblings, parents, great aunts, 2nd cousins… etc. of any of the current or former band members… get it?!!”
Despite the rare sign of progress between the two sides, the crux of the dispute — control of Chris Cornell vocal recordings that the band contends were for an in-the-works Soundgarden album — remains unsettled.