Chris Cornell‘s widow Vicky Cornell opened up about the Soundgarden singer’s battle with addiction and his relapse prior to his suicide in a new interview with Good Morning America. The segment was Vicky’s first television interview since Cornell’s death in May 2017.
“He loved his life. He would never have ever left this world,” Vicky Cornell told Robin Roberts. “Our family was his everything. As soon as he got offstage, he was a dad, he was a regular dad.”
However, Vicky Cornell said, the singer’s demeanor began to change after he was prescribed benzodiazepine, a powerful pain killer, to help deal with a shoulder injury that was keeping Chris Cornell awake at night. Vicky blamed that prescription for her husband’s descent back into addiction.
“The brain of someone who has a substance use disorder is different from that of … someone who doesn’t. He relapsed,” she told Good Morning America, adding that during one weeklong period “he took 20-something pills… And in a nine-day period, 33.”
Two months before his suicide, Cornell reached out to a friend via email and wrote “Would love to talk, had relapse.” Unfortunately, after abruptly ending Soundgarden’s Detroit concert on May 17th, the singer committed suicide in his hotel room. In a previous statement, Cornell blamed the suicide on her husband’s medication.
In the interview, a tearful Vicky also talked about telling the couple’s children about their father’s death. “You think addiction is a choice, and it’s not. I think that if there was less stigma around it, more people would speak up,” Vicky told GMA. “My husband was the furthest thing from a rock star junkie. He just wasn’t. He was the best husband, the greatest father. I lost my soulmate and the love of my life.”
The singer’s most memorable moments: Soundgarden’s grunge classics, Audioslave’s hits and his poetic solo material. Watch below.