The bitter lawsuit between Soundgarden and Vicky Cornell is raging on. Now, Soundgarden has levied a firmly-worded countersuit against Vicky, one that includes accusations of stealing charitable funds.
Soundgarden’s team recently submitted the counterclaim to a Florida federal court, and a copy of the filing was shared with Digital Music News.
The defendants’ counsel doesn’t hesitate to condemn Vicky’s lawsuit in their filing, labeling it an “offensive recitation of false allegations and accusations,” and stating that she levied the legal complaint “rashly and without good cause” for the purpose of “extorting Soundgarden” and “coercing” the band to “prematurely distribute” funds.
Furthermore, the text emphasizes that while Vicky is “entitled to money from the Soundgarden partnership” (Chris’ portion of royalties and other earnings), she doesn’t own the recordings at the center of the case, and only happens to possess them “because of Soundgarden’s courtesy in returning [Chris] Cornell’s personal property, including his laptop(s)” following his passing.
The defendants also call Vicky’s legal action “spurious” and “lamentable,” specifically because it will continue to “inhibit the album project,” or the band’s plan to release a new studio album using, in part, the recordings that the plaintiff possesses. Additionally, the text describes Vicky Cornell’s alleged “refusal to relinquish control” of Soundgarden’s social-media accounts and official website as “disconcerting to the band.”
Perhaps the most damning and significant of the allegations contained in the filing centers on the band’s concern “over the treatment of revenue generated by a 2019 charity concert organized by Vicky Cornell” following her husband’s passing, “for which she has refused to account.”
Said charity concert, entitled “I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell,” occurred on January 16th, 2019. According to the filing, Soundgarden members and other artists “performed without compensation,” under the belief that raised money would benefit charities selected by The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation.
In a previous statement, Vicky said that over $640,000 of the concert’s income was donated to the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation, but has “not identified the whereabouts or disposition of the remaining revenue,” per the filing.
Similarly, the document notes the “almost a year late” release of the Foundation’s Form 990, which provides the public with information about non-profit organizations’ resources and operations.
At the time of this writing, Vicky Cornell and her legal team hadn’t publicly responded to Soundgarden’s countersuit.