The relationship between Chris Cornell‘s widow and his former band is in black days, to say the least … because she’s suing over money and the rights to 7 unreleased recordings.
Vicky Cornell filed legal docs, claiming the remaining members of Soundgarden are withholding hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties owed to her and Chris’ minor children.
She calls the move an “unlawful attempt to strong-arm Chris’ Estate into turning over certain audio recordings created by Chris before he passed away.”
The rights to those recordings — some of Chris’ final ones — are the crux of the dispute between Vicky and the band. According to the docs, obtained by TMZ, she says the 7 tracks were “solely authored by Chris; contain Chris’ own vocal tracks; and were bequeathed to Chris’ Estate” for the benefit of her and their kids.
Vicky claims she’s offered to share the recordings with Soundgarden, so they can be released in a way that respects Chris’ wishes — including having his producer involved — but she says the band refused.
She also accuses lead guitarist Kim Thayil of putting her family in harm’s way by suggesting she’s the main obstacle to Soundgarden putting out another album.
In the docs, filed by powerhouse attorneys Marty Singer and James Sammataro, Vicky says those comments are intentionally misleading to Soundgarden’s “loyal, rabid fan base” … and she believes Thayil knows Chris worked on the music solo.
However, Soundgarden is claiming Chris and the other members had been “working on the files in a collaborative effort.” In a letter to Vicky, they say … “The entire band was feeling very positive about their rekindled artistic energy and creativity” before Cornell died.
It also lists various members as co-songwriters along with Chris on 5 of the 7 disputed recordings.
Vicky’s not buying it, and wants the judge to declare Chris’ estate the sole owner of the unreleased tracks … and force the band to fork over the alleged unpaid royalties.
We’ve reached out to Soundgarden … no word back yet.