Vicky Cornell Sues Soundgarden Over 'Villainously Low' Buyout Offer
By Katrina Nattress
February 17, 2021
Vicky Cornell has once again sued the surviving members of Soundgarden, this time over a "villainously low" buyout offer of less than $300,000.
At the time of his death, Chris Cornell was in a partnership with bandmates Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd. As SPIN reports, the lawsuit alleges that the band offered “the villainously low figure of less than $300,000” to the Cornell estate despite receiving a $16,000,000 offer from an outside music investor for Soundgarden’s master recordings.
Vicky responded to the “disingenuous offer" with a counter-offer of $4,000,000 to each member for their collective interests in Soundgarden and related entities. When that was declined, she upped it to $7,000,000, which was also reportedly denied. Now, Vicky is requesting a judicial valuation of Chris' interest in Soundgarden and its related entities to determine a buyout price.
“As requested by the Estate of Chris Cornell and as required by the laws of the State of Washington, the surviving members of Soundgarden submitted to the Cornell Estate four months ago a buy-out offer of the Estate’s interests in Soundgarden calculated by respected music industry valuation expert Gary Cohen," a statement from Soundgarden's representative reads. "Since then, the band members have continued to try to settle all disputes with the Cornell Estate and in their several attempts to settle, the band members have elected to offer multiple times more than the amount calculated by Cohen. This dispute has never been about money for the band. This is their life’s work and their legacy.”
In response, Vicky's attorney Marty Singer said:
The band’s contention that this dispute is somehow not about the money for them is absurd and hypocritical. Of course this is about money and their greed. They received a third party offer to buy just a portion of their interests for 16 million dollars, and yet subsequently offered to buy out Chris’ interest for a mere $278,000. And then Vicky offered $21 million for their shares, which they turned down – not because they wanted to preserve their life’s work but because they know that they will make even more off of future exploitation of the music that Chris wrote and the legacy that he created (which has lined their pockets for years).
This lawsuit follows one Vicky filed in 2019 concerning the rights of unreleased tracks. However, despite the ongoing legal battle, she's promised that all unreleased Soundgarden music "will see the light of day."
Photo: Getty Images