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Cornell’s wife writes: ‘I’m sorry you were alone’

Detroit News staff and wires

The widow of rocker Chris Cornell, who took his own life last week in Detroit, penned a letter to him published on Billboard magazine’s website.

Chris Cornell, who gained fame as the lead singer of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, had been on tour and performed May 17 with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. He was 52.

His wife, Vicky Cornell, wrote the singer was “the best father, husband and son-in-law” and his “patience, empathy and love always showed through.”

She also apologized for not being with Cornell on the night he died.

“We had the time of our lives in the last decade and I’m sorry, my sweet love, that I did not see what happened to you that night,” she wrote. “I’m sorry you were alone, and I know that was not you, my sweet Christopher. Your children know that too, so you can rest in peace.”

Cornell also vowed to care for their children and to never forget him.

“I’m broken, but I will stand up for you and I will take care of our beautiful babies,” she said in the letter. “I will think of you every minute of every day and I will fight for you.

“You were right when you said we are soulmates. It has been said that paths that have crossed will cross again, and I know that you will come find me, and I will be here waiting.”

Detroit Police said last week Chris Cornell was found dead at about midnight Wednesday in a hotel room at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel with “a band around his neck.”

According to a police report, Cornell went to his hotel room shortly after his band’s performance and talked to his wife on the phone.

She told police her husband slurred his words, sounded groggy and kept repeating: “I’m just tired.”

Vicky Cornell asked the band’s bodyguard to check on the singer, the report said. The bodyguard, Martin Kirsten, busted into the room and discovered Cornell was on the bathroom floor “with blood running from his mouth and a red exercise band around (his) neck.”

In their investigation, police learned Kirsten had given Cornell two doses of Ativan, an anti-anxiety medicine, according to the report.

The Wayne County medical Examiner’s Office declared his death a suicide by hanging.

A couple of days after his death, Vicky Cornell and her attorney Kirk Pasich issued a statement disputing her husband committed suicide.

Pasich said the singer, a recovering addict, may have exceeded the recommended dosage of his anti-anxiety medication. The attorney said the drug can cause paranoia, suicidal thoughts and other side effects, according to medical literature.

“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 said.

Soundgarden was one of the biggest groups in the 1990s alternative rock movement, and a key part of the Seattle scene that also spawned Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.

In addition to music, Chris Cornell also became involved in philanthropy and started the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing challenges, including homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect.

Cornell’s funeral is set for Friday in Los Angeles.