SOUNDGARDEN Drops Benefit Concert Claims Against CHRIS CORNELL's Widow

July 17, 2020

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the surviving members of SOUNDGARDEN have dropped their counterclaim against Chris Cornell's widow Vicky Cornell and the Chris Cornell estate regarding a Chris Cornell tribute concert.

Last December, Vicky Cornell filed a lawsuit against Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd, alleging the group owed Cornell's estate hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid royalties and the rights to seven unreleased recordings made before the singer's death in May of 2017.

Responding to Vicky's lawsuit, Thayil, Cameron and Shepherd claimed that they "don't have possession" of their "own creative work," and alleged that "Vicky Cornell has possession of the only existing multi-track recordings of the last SOUNDGARDEN tracks that include Chris Cornell's instrumental parts and vocals. All of the band members jointly worked on these final tracks, Vicky now claims ownership of the final SOUNDGARDEN album." They also insisted that all of the bandmembers, not just Cornell, are owed monies, but none of them will be paid until "expenses are paid and the partnership shares of earnings can be calculated and distributed."

This past May, Thayil, Cameron and Shepherd filed a countersuit in U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida, Miami division, claiming that Vicky Cornell requested in late 2018 that they agree to perform at the "I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell" January 16, 2019 concert in Los Angeles without compensation. "To induce SOUNDGARDEN to agree to this request, Vicky Cornell represented that the revenue from the Cornell Concert would be used for charitable purposes," the complaint stated.

Thayil, Cameron and Shepherd alleged "that Vicky Cornell's representation was false in that Vicky Cornell did not have the intention of using some or all of the revenue from the Cornell Concert for charitable purposes, but rather for personal purposes for herself and her family. SOUNDGARDEN is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Vicky Cornell knew that the representation was false, or exhibited recklessness or negligence as to its truth or falsity, for the purpose and with the intent of inducing SOUNDGARDEN into agreeing to perform at the Cornell Concert without compensation," the counterclaim read.

After Vicky Cornell's lawyers threatened Thayil, Cameron and Shepherd with Rule 11 sanctions for filing "shameful and objectively frivolous" claims, they dropped allegations related to the "I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell" benefit concert.

"When we threatened SOUNDGARDEN with the undisputed facts that their claims concerning Vicky Cornell and the Cornell Charitable Foundation were disgraceful and fabricated by requesting the court sanction them for their appalling conduct, they caved in and agreed to drop their claims," Cornell's attorney Martin Singer said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday. "We were looking forward to having the court make SOUNDGARDEN and their attorneys accountable for their shameful conduct, but they instead backed off their meritless claims since they knew they would lose the Rule 11 motion, which is used in court to punish and deter parties and their attorneys from pursuing objectively frivolous claims."

A Wednesday stipulation permitting SOUNDGARDEN to file a first amended complaint states, "The sole purpose of filing the First Amended Counterclaims is to dismiss the Ninth and Tenth Causes of Action and certain related factual allegations relating to the January 16, 2019 charity concert: 'I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell'."

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