The surviving members of Soundgarden (Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Hunter Benedict Shepherd) have released a statement regarding the buyout offer lawsuit filed by late frontman Chris Cornell’s widow Vicky last week.
“The buyout offer that was demanded by the Estate has been grossly mischaracterized and we are confident that clarity will come out in court,” wrote the band in a statement Sunday. “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 filed the new lawsuit in a Washington state court on February 17, claiming that the band offered her the “ludicrously low offer” of $300,000 for her late husband’s stake, what she says is an “infinitesimal fraction of the true worth” of his contribution.” She also claims that she made two separate offers to buy out the band’s stakes ($12 Million and $21 Million, respectively), both of which the band’s members declined due to a lack of interest in giving up their stake in “their creative life’s work.”
Thayil, Cameron and Shepherd also make mention of their previous legal disputes with Vicky in the statement. In a May 2020 lawsuit, the band claimed that Vicky had taken over their social media accounts and was making posts that were “intended to denigrate the Band and the Surviving Band Members,” as well as keeping poor maintenance of their sites that led to “reputational harm and loss of income.” Such led to the band creating new social media accounts in July 2020.
That suit was in response to the original lawsuit filed by Vicky in December 2019 that claimed the band’s surviving members were withholding royalties owed to her and alleged that seven unreleased tracks found on her late husband’s laptop were his sole property. The band countered that lawsuit with claims that those files were collaborative recordings, some started as early as 2014, meant for a new Soundgarden album.
All of these lawsuits remain ongoing at this time.