Soundgarden members Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd have issued a statement in response to the new lawsuit filed by Vicky Cornell regarding buying out Chris Cornell’s stake in the band.
Vicky Cornell's lawsuit alleges the three surviving members of Soundgarden offered her $300,000 to buy out Chris Cornell’s share in the band which she claims is a low ball offer. She also alleges the band recently received an offer of $16 million for their masters. Vicky’s new lawsuit would help establish a proper value of the assets and worth of Soundgarden.
Vicky Cornell’s attorney, Marty Singer, told TMZ, “…Vicky offered $21 million for their shares, which they turned down – not because they wanted to preserve their life’s work but because they know that they will make even more off of future exploitation of the music that Chris wrote and the legacy that he created (which has lined their pockets for years).”
In a statement to the media, Soundgarden said, “The buyout offer that was demanded by the Estate has been grossly mischaracterized and we are confident that clarity will come out in court. All offers to buy out our interests have been unsolicited and rejected outright. For more than a year, Soundgarden’s social media accounts have been hijacked; misleading and confusing our fans. Being a band from Washington State since 1984, we are proud of Soundgarden’s musical legacy, work and career. We look forward to completing the final Soundgarden album.”
Vicky Cornell and the surviving members of Soundgarden have also been engaged in a legal battle over some of Chris Cornell’s recordings. In December 2019, Vicky Cornell filed a lawsuit accusing 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 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.
In February 2020, Soundgarden responded to Vicky Cornell’s lawsuit claiming that recordings being withheld are actually the property of the band. They also denied her claim the band was withholding any royalties and state they haven’t received any royalties either until “the Partnership, by vote of the Remaining Partners, formally elects to make such a distribution.”
In May 2020, Soundgarden filed another countersuit against Vicky Cornell and the estate of Chris Cornell “accusing them of ‘fraudulent inducement’ for allegedly using revenue intended to be raised for charity for ‘personal purposes for herself and her family.'” The band would drop this lawsuit in July.