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Vicky Cornell on Chris Cornell: ‘He Didn’t Want to Die’

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Chris Cornell‘s widow, Vicky Cornell, has granted an interview to People magazine that will hit newsstands this Friday, but a portion of the piece has already turned up online. In it, Vicky speaks about Cornell’s suicide, and she believes that a drug relapse ultimately altered his state of mind.

“He didn’t want to die,” she says. “If he was of sound mind, I know he wouldn’t have done this.” She continues elsewhere in the interview, “My Chris was happy, loving, caring and warm. This was not a depressed man — it wasn’t like I missed that. What I missed were the signs of addiction.”

Vicky characterizes her husband as a “humble, sweet, kind and good” man “with the patience of a saint” who had been looking forward to the family’s upcoming trip to Disney World with their kids. Though Cornell had addiction issues in the past, she states that the musician hadn’t relapsed since 2009. Wondering how she could have missed the clues, Vicky states, “I relaxed, I guess.”

It was determined that Cornell had four prescription drugs in his system at the time of his death, including Ativan, which Vicky initially feared may have triggered his actions. She explains that her husband was prescribed Ativan last year as a sleep aid, but noted that he had recently seemed deprived of rest.

“That was a sign something was off,” says Vicky. She explained that her husband had remotely turned the lights off in their home using his smart home system on his phone, which caused her concern and led to her phone call with the singer on the night of his death. “He was on a rant,” she says. “I said, ‘You need to tell me what you took,’ and he just got mean. That wasn’t my Chris.”

As we now know, Vicky called one of the band’s security team who broke down doors to find the singer slumped in the bathroom and unable to be revived.

She concludes, “Addiction is a disease. That disease can take over you and has full power.” In the aftermath of Cornell’s death, Vicky says she wants to speak out in hopes that she can get through to others in danger of suffering the same fate. “I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure other children don’t have to cry like mine have cried,” she says.

Check out Vicky’s full interview in the new episode of People, on newsstands this Friday.

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