Chris Cornell's Family: Prescription Drugs May Have Played a Part in Death

His family issued a statement through an attorney Friday refuting "inferences that Chris knowingly and intentionally" killed himself, and said that without toxicology test results completed they don't know what caused his death.

Chris Cornell's wife and lawyer said in a press release they are disturbed by a MI medical examiner's ruling that Cornell committed suicide this week, since toxicology tests have not yet been completed.

Lawyer Kirk Pasich said Cornell, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan, which he said has a range of side effects, including suicidal thoughts.

The musician was found dead in his Detroit hotel room Wednesday after performing at a concert. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him. The Wayne County medical examiner conducted an autopsy Thursday and ruled his death a suicide by hanging, spokesman James Martinez said.

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His representative, Brian Bumbery called the musician's death "sudden and unexpected" and said in a statement that the family would be "working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause".

Chris Cornell performed at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. "He was my best friend", Karayiannis said in a statement. "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".

Cornell has battled addiction problems in the past.

Soundgarden's support band The Dillinger Escape Plan spoke about how Chris had been on the rest of the tour.

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In a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone, he said he had used drugs daily from age 13. "There was about two years where I was more or less agoraphobic and didn't deal with anybody, didn't talk to anybody, didn't have any friends at all". It was a gift he put to good use with Soundgarden, as well as with Audioslave, the band he founded with members of Rage Against the Machine in the years after Soundgarden's 1997 break-up (he also sang with Temple of the Dog, an early '90s collaboration with members of Pearl Jam).

Chris Cornell, one of the most lauded and respected contemporary lead singers in rock music with his bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, hanged himself Wednesday in a Detroit hotel room, according to the city's medical examiner.

One of the locations where people gathered was the Sound Garden art sculpture at a Seattle park, for which Soundgarden was named.

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