Deceased Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell repeatedly told his wife “I am just tired” in his last phone conversation with her before taking his own life.
Cornell’s wife Vicky requested that the singer’s bodyguard check on him after talking to the “groggy” musician, according to a police report obtained by the Detroit News.
The bodyguard, Martin Kirsten, arrived at Cornell’s suite at the MGM Grand Hotel in Detroit, Michigan, just after midnight on Thursday to find the door locked, according to the report. After kicking in the door, as well as a second door, Kirsten found the singer slumped on the floor of the bathroom with “blood running from his mouth an a red exercise band around (his) neck,” the report said.
Cornell was found dead at age 52 after a Soundgarden performance at Detroit’s Fox Theatre. The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office later determined that he had died from suicide by hanging.
On Friday, Cornell’s family issued a statement suggesting that a medication the musician was on might have “contributed to his demise.”
“Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris,” Kirk Pasich, an attorney for the Cornell family said. “Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages. The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.”
Pasich noted that some medical literature indicates that Ativan can cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgment.
In her own statement Friday, Cornell’s widow, Vicky Cornell, said she was blindsided by the news. “Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend. His world evolved around his family first and of course, his music, second. He flew home for Mother’s Day to spend time with our family.”
“He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children,” she continued. “When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do. When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him.”