A judge in Vicky Cornell’s lawsuit against Soundgarden has seen no evidence that the band’s surviving members are withholding royalties from their late frontman’s widow.
In December 2019, Cornell sued the band, claiming they were “withholding hundreds of thousand of dollars in royalties” and that the band’s manager Rit Venerus was working against her after she gained control of her late husband’s estate in 2017.
Now, Billboard reports that Washington state district judge Michelle Peterson found that Venerus is “not [Cornell’s] advisor,” and there is no evidence to suggest that the band withheld any money from Cornell. Peterson’s report will now be sent to judge Robert S. Lasnik, who will make the final decision.
Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, Matt Cameron, Kim Thayil, and Ben Shepherd
Last month, Cornell filed another case in court against the band after they attempted to buy out her stake in her late husband’s band for what she has called a “ludicrously low” price.
According to Variety, the three remaining Soundgarden members offered Ms Cornell less than $300,000 (£217,000) for her share in the band’s masters, publishing royalties and other revenue. Vicky Cornell inherited her stake in the band’s profits following Chris Cornell’s passing in 2017.
“This action has been necessitated by the self-serving and heartless actions of the remaining members of the band Soundgarden, who are seeking to rob from their former bandmate, Chris Cornell (‘Chris’), his wife (‘Vicky’), and their minor children, Chris’ legacy and life’s worth, which has made them millions of dollars,” an excerpt from Cornell’s statement reads.
In yet another case between the two parties, the surviving members of Soungarden sued Cornell in 2020, alleging that she repurposed funds raised by a charity concert, organised as a tribute to her late husband, for her personal needs. The group subsequently dropped the lawsuit.