According to Billboard, U.S. District Judge Michelle Peterson has recommended the court to dismiss two of the claims that were filed against Soundgarden by Chris Cornell’s widow Vicky Cornell. Those include Vicky‘s claim that the band were withholding “hundreds of thousands of dollars” worth of royalties and her claim that the group’s business manager Rit Venerus breached his duty to look after her best interests. The final decision will now be made by presiding judge Robert S. Lasnik.
Vicky‘s attorney Marty Singer commented:
“The magistrate’s recommendation was based solely on her subjective and un-adopted opinion that additional facts must be added to our client’s complaint, and we intend to amend our client’s complaint to include those facts. Most importantly, the magistrate’s recommendation has zero impact on the significant claims against Soundgarden and its band members, who have sought to trample on Chris Cornell’s rights by unlawfully asserting ownership over his vocal recordings and by depriving his wife and children of millions of dollars that the band members want to keep for themselves.”
This news comes Soundgarden recently issued a statement after Vicky filed another suit against them due to a buyout offer. Vicky claimed that the surviving members of the band only offered her $300,000 for Chris’ share of Soundgarden, an amount she says is way lower than the estate’s interests, especially since an outside investor offered the group $16 million for their masters.
The latest legal battle between Soundgarden and Vicky came after she previously filed a lawsuit against the band in December 2019 over royalties and the rights to seven unreleased tracks. That suit said that the group had been withholding money in an “unlawful attempt to strong-arm Chris’ Estate into turning over certain audio recordings” that Vicky claimed Chris wrote alone while living in Florida. She also said that she offered to share the tracks with the band if they respected Chris’ wishes by releasing them in a certain way and having his producer involved, but they allegedly refused. Vicky also accused guitarist Kim Thayil of putting her and her family in danger by suggesting that she is preventing the release of a new Soundgarden album.
Soundgarden then filed a countersuit against Vicky and Chris’ estate in May 2020 with accusations of “fraudulent inducement.” They claimed that Chris co-authored five of the recordings in question with other members of the band. They also said that their January 16, 2019 set at the Chris Cornell tribute show was done for free to benefit charity, but Vicky never provided them with a full list of donations. However, the latter accusation was dropped in July 2020. Furthermore, Soundgarden have also been taking issue with Vicky having access to their social media accounts.