Soundgarden has legally responded to a lawsuit filed by Vicky Cornell in December 2019 regarding the ownership of a number of band recordings.
In documents obtained by Rolling Stone, Soundgarden is claiming that recordings being withheld are actually the property of the band. They are also denying Cornell’s claim that the band is withholding any royalties and state that they haven’t received and royalties either until “the Partnership, by vote of the Remaining Partners, formally elects to make such a distribution.” The band also are taking issue with the fact that Cornell’s lawsuit was filed in Florida, because the band has no connection to the state. Cornell’s reasoning for filing in Florida is due to her claim that the aforementioned recordings were recorded in the late Chris Cornell’s personal studio in the state back in 2017, and they weren’t meant for any project with Soundgarden. The band, however, claim those recordings date back to 2015.
Vicky Cornell’s lawsuit from December 2019 accuses the band of withholding “hundreds of thousands of dollars” worth of royalties in an “unlawful attempt to strong-arm Chris’ Estate into turning over certain audio recordings created by Chris before he passed away.
These recordings have been talked about publicly by guitarist Kim Thayil multiple times, with him saying in a November 2019 during an interview, “We definitely have another record in us. Stuff that’s written, stuff that’s demoed and recorded — certainly. All it would need is to take the audio files that are available…There shouldn’t be [issues getting the record done] — there really isn’t — other than the fact that we don’t have those files… And I think that will happen. It would be ridiculous if it didn’t. But these are difficult things — partnerships and property.” Vicky Cornell has accused Thayil of “putting her family in harm’s way” by suggesting she’s being difficult regarding these demos.
Vicky Cornell’s attorney Marty Singer said in a statement about Soundgarden’s countersuit, “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. We are very confident that the Court will vindicate the rights of Chris’ Estate, and that the case will properly remain in Florida, where Chris resided and recorded the songs that are now the lawful property of his Estate.”
Not long after news broke of Soundgarden’s countersuit Vicky Corell shared the following Jane Austen quote via Instagram: “There is a stubbornness about me that can never bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”