The widow of Soundgarden rocker Chris Cornell has blamed his death on a prescription drug he was taking.
The 52-year-old musician was found dead in a Detroit hotel room on Wednesday (17May17), hours after performing with his band in the city. A medical examiner ruled his death a suicide by hanging.
Chris' wife Vicky alerted security staff and asked them to check on her husband, a recovering alcohol and drug addict, as she was worried he had taken Ativan, also known as Lorazepam, a prescription anti-anxiety medication used to treat addiction problems.
"When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different," Vicky said in a statement. "When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him."
Ativan is known to cause suicidal thoughts in some patients.
Vicky, who has two children with Chris, said her husband had celebrated America's Mother's Day holiday last weekend at home, and that they had discussed vacation plans before the concert at Detroit's Fox Theatre. Chris also has a daughter from his first marriage.
The rocker's widow added, "What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life."
The Cornell family's lawyer Kirk Pasich also cited the drug as a possible factor in the rocker's death.
"Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages," he said. "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."
After hearing news of Chris' death fans of the group set up an informal memorial at A Sound Garden in Seattle, Washington, an art installation in the band's hometown from which they took their name.
In her statement, Vicky said the support of the group's fans was helping her family cope with the tragedy.
"The outpouring of love and support from his fans, friends and family means so much more to us than anyone can know. Thank you for that, and for understanding how difficult this is for us," she said.