The first TV interview with Vicky Cornell, Chris Cornell‘s widow, aired Wednesday morning on ABC’s Good Morning America. During her conversation with ABC’s Robin Roberts, Vicky revealed how the Soundgarden frontman, who had struggled with drug addiction throughout his life, relapsed prior to his suicide last May.
“Approximately a year before [Chris] died, he was prescribed a benzodiazepine to help him sleep,” she remembers. “He had torn his shoulder, he complained that the pain in the shoulder was waking him up.”
“In retrospect, I’ve learned it’s not supposed to be given to anybody who’s in recovery,” Vicky continues. “If you have to give it, they have to closely monitored, and it should not be given for more than two to three weeks.”
Instead, Vicky says, the musician took “20-something” pills over a seven-day period, and then 33 over a nine-day period.
Leading up to his death, Vicky noticed that Chris would become “forgetful” and spoke with “delayed speech.” During his final show with Soundgarden, the night before he took his own life, Vicky says that Chris was “off-pitch,” “forgot words” and “walked off stage.”
“Chris Cornell doesn’t do those kinds of things, he’s not that kind of rock star,” she says.
Since her husband’s death, Vicky has tried to raise awareness about the dangers of addiction.
“It’s in all of our houses. It’s in rich, poor [households], it has no racial boundaries…it does not discriminate,” she says. “And I think that if there was less stigma around it, more people would speak up.”
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