Chris Cornell’s Widow Speaks Out Following Release of Toxicology Report

Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Yahoo Celebrity
Chris Cornell and his wife, Vicky Karayiannis, at the premiere of <em>The Promise</em> in April. (Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Chris Cornell and his wife, Vicky Karayiannis, at the premiere of The Promise in April. (Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Vicky Karayiannis Cornell, widow of rocker Chris Cornell, is speaking out following the release of her late husband’s toxicology report. On Friday, it was confirmed that Cornell had a mix of several prescription drugs in his system at the time he hanged himself on May 18.

According to the report obtained by TMZ, the Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman had Naloxone (Narcan), Butalbital (a sedative), Lorazepam (Ativan), Pseudoephedrine (a decongestant), and barbiturates in his system at the time of death.

“Many of us who know Chris well noticed that he wasn’t himself during his final hours and that something was very off,” Vicky says in a statement.

“We have learned from this report that several substances were found in his system. After so many years of sobriety, this moment of terrible judgement seems to have completely impaired and altered his state of mind,” she adds. “Something clearly went terribly wrong and my children and I are heartbroken and are devastated that this moment can never be taken back.”

Vicky concludes, “We very much appreciate all of the love we have received during this extremely difficult time and are dedicated to helping others in preventing this type of tragedy.”

The medical examiner ruled Cornell’s death a suicide; however, Vicky has been adamant the family believes he was so high, he had no intent to kill himself. The musician was found in his Detroit hotel room with an exercise band around his neck.

A full autopsy report has confirmed Cornell’s death was caused by hanging. Despite drugs being found in the singer’s system, they “did not contribute to the cause of death,” the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office tells E! News.

Vicky was on the phone with her husband 30 minutes before his death, and she knew something was terribly wrong. Suspecting he was under the influence, she called Chris’s security guard and hotel security. When they entered his room, they found him in the bathroom. He was 52.

Cornell’s memorial service was held last Friday. Stars like Brad Pitt and and Pharrell came out to pay their respects.

Pitt, who was a close friend of Cornell’s, has been spending time with the grieving family in the wake of the tragedy. This week, he was spotted with Chris’s two children the singer shared with Vicky — Toni, 12, and Christopher, 11 — at Universal Studios. Cornell is also survived by 17-year-old daughter, Lillian, whom he had with ex-wife, Susan Silver.

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