Soundgarden’s remaining members (Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, Ben Shepherd) have filed yet another lawsuit against Vicky Cornell, the widow of late frontman Chris Cornell. The motion, filed on March 25 in Washington State U.S. District Court, seeks to regain access to the band’s social media accounts.
After initially having joint custody of the accounts with Patriot Management acting as a go-between for the two parties, that deal ended when their relationship with Patriot ended in October 2019. Soundgarden claims that Patriot gave Vicky the password information, which she had changed, and as of December 2019, the band had been locked out of their accounts.
The new filing claims that in a 2019 email from Patriot Management, it was confirmed that “Vicky [Cornell] has since changed all the social media passwords for the band accounts and will not share them with [Patriot] as she wants the band, and I quote, ‘to sue her for them’.”
The two parties have been going back and forth in court since December 2019, when Vicky Cornell sued the band over unpaid royalties and to maintain custody of seven unreleased tracks she claims are Chris’ solo recordings. Soundgarden then countersued, claiming that those tracks were for an upcoming band album they had all been working on since 2014. The band had also mentioned being locked out of their social media accounts as part of a previous suit, claiming that Vicky had used the “Soundgarden” accounts to defame the band. They also claim that she let their accounts and website fall into disrepair.
Back in June 2020, Thayil, Cameron and Shepherd created new social media accounts under the name Nude.Dragons, an anagram of Soundgarden the band had previously performed under.
This new suit comes just one weeks after a court recommended that two of Vicky’s claims against the band be dismissed. According to Billboard, those include her claim that the band was withholding “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in royalties from her (U.S. District Court Judge Michelle Peterson found no evidence to support that) and that the band’s “manager breached his duty to look after her best interest.” Those suggestions will go to Presiding Judge Robert S. Lasnik, who will make a final decision on their validity.
A hearing for the case will take place on April 16.