Did Chris Cornell purposely end his life? Not according to his family. They blame the Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman’s death on Ativan and his past addiction to drugs.

While the medical examiner ruled that Cornell hanged himself, the family says that his death was caused by his prescriptions. Specifically, Cornell was taking Ativan, which treats anxiety, drug withdrawal, agoraphobia, seizure disorders, and more. Side effects can include depression, though it’s rare.


Chris Cornell's Death Chris Cornell posed with his family at the 'Into the Woods' premiere in NYC in 2014 (Photo: Photo Image Press / Splash News).

“Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris – or if any substances contributed to his demise,” the family’s attorney Kirk Pasich said.

“Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages. 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’s wife, Vicky, also said that Cornell was slurring his words when he was on the phone with her and he admitted that he had taken more Ativan than prescribed. She added that it was shocking that he would commit suicide because he was so devoted to his kids Christopher, Toni, and Lillian Jean.

Chris Cornell Death Chris Cornell went to the 'Avengers' premiere in Hollywood in 2012 with his wife and kids (Photo: Splash News).

But Cornell was a recovering drug addict and did have a history of substance abuse, especially with alcohol. He wound up going to rehab in the early 2000s. Rehab “was something I didn’t want to do and I guess I was intimidated by it,” Cornell said. “I thought I was smart enough and that it wasn’t really necessary. But it got to the point where I had to do something.”

He also said his battle with addiction was “a long slow slide and then a long, slow recovery – but there was self-discovery too ... For me it was mostly alcohol – from my late teens until my late thirties.” But he got out of rehab and immediately went back to work. He went on tour with Audioslave and sold millions of albums.


So for now, Cornell’s family is asking fans to wait for a toxicology report to see the real reason behind his death.

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