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To call the past month the most fundamentally exhausting of Vicky Cornell’s life is an understatement. Her husband, Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, was found dead by his own hand last month and in the weeks since, Vicky’s been on the defensive as rumors and speculation abound as to what exactly drove Chris to take his own life.
Speaking for herself for the first time since news of the tragedy broke, Vicky sat down with People magazine this week to share the joy of having spent 13 years with the love of her life and the devastation of losing him so suddenly, holding fast to her belief that the Chris Cornell that took his own life wasn’t the “happy, loving, caring and warm” man “with the patience of a saint” that she knew, but someone else entirely – the result of the #1 red flag she says she missed in the days and weeks leading up to his death.
“This was not a depressed man—it wasn’t like I missed that. What I missed were the signs of addiction,” revealed Vicky, indicating a belief that Chris, sober since 2009, had relapsed.
“He didn’t want to die. If he was of sound mind, I know he wouldn’t have done this.”
Cornell died with 7 legal prescription drugs in his system, the only anomaly being “a significant dose” of the anxiety medicine Ativan, but according to Vicky their final conversation returned her to a time and place in their relationship that was all too familiar as Chris went “on a rant” and “just got mean” when she begged him to tell her what he’d taken, leaving her wondering only one thing: how could she have missed the signs she’d become all too familiar with years before?
While she can’t turn back the hands of time and undo the greatest tragedy of her life to date, there’s one thing Vicky can do: “I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure other children don’t have to cry like mine have cried.”