The surviving members of Soundgarden have withdrawn a legal claim that Chris Cornell’s widow misused funds from a 2019 benefit concert held in the late frontman’s honor.
In a new Florida court filing, the band revised its countersuit against the singer’s wife, Vicky Cornell, who along with her attorney, had previously denied the allegations that she used proceeds from the event for personal purposes. Wednesday’s filing was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
“When we threatened Soundgarden with the undisputed facts that their claims concerning Vicky Cornell and the Cornell Charitable Foundation were disgraceful and fabricated by requesting the court sanction them for their appalling conduct, they caved in and agreed to drop their claims,” Cornell’s attorney Martin Singer told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “We were looking forward to having the court make Soundgarden and their attorneys accountable for their shameful conduct, but they instead backed off their meritless claims.”
It’s the latest development in what has been a contentious legal battle centered around the rights to recordings Chris Cornell made before his death. The band contends that the seven songs in question were intended for an upcoming Soundgarden album, which would have been the band’s follow-up to 2012’s “King Animal.” Vicky Cornell initiated the legal action last year, accusing the band of withholding royalty payments — a claim Soundgarden has denied.
The Seattle rock icons filed a countersuit in May accusing Vicky Cornell of withholding money raised through a star-studded benefit concert held last year in the late singer’s honor. The “I Am the Highway” show, held in Los Angeles in January 2019, featured performances from Cornell’s bandmates and a number of Seattle greats — including members of Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam and Brandi Carlile — alongside other music stars ranging from Metallica to Miley Cyrus.
When the accusations around the charity concert first surfaced, Singer said in a statement to media that the concert raised more than $1 million for the Cornells’ foundation and that $650,000 was donated to the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation. In a separate letter to Soundgarden’s attorneys, he stated the rest of the funds have either been donated or remain in the foundation’s accounts for future “charitable endeavors.”
In the new filing, Soundgarden’s attorneys wrote that while the band believes the accusations “remain well-founded,” they agreed to drop that portion of its countersuit “for reasons communicated” to Cornell and her attorneys.