Soundgarden Drop Benefit Show Counterclaim Suit Against Vicky Cornell

HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 11: (L-R) Musicians Chris Cornell, Matt Cameron, Kim Thayil and Ben Shepherd of Soundgarden arrive at the premiere of Marvel Studios' "The Avengers" at the El Capitan Theatre on April 11, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The surviving members of Soundgarden have dropped part of their counterclaim against Vicky Cornell, which they filed in May regarding the 2019 I Am the Highway benefit show, after being threatened with sanctions by her legal team. In the original filing, the band accused Cornell of using the funds from the show for “personal purposes for herself and her family.”

Despite dropping this part of the lawsuit, the Cornell and the surviving Soundgarden members will still be dueling over who owns unreleased audio recordings, Rolling Stone reported.

In a statement given to the Hollywood Reporter, Cornell’s lawyer Martin Singer called the band’s actions “shameful conduct.”

“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,” Singer told THR 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.”

In a new filing, the band said that their counterclaim was “well-founded,” but voluntarily dropped it  “for reasons communicated” to Cornell’s lawyer.

In May, the band filed a countersuit in U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida that stated funds from the I Am the Highway show, which took place at the Forum and featured an all-star cast of performers including MetallicaFoo Fighters, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Melvins, and the surviving members of Audioslave and Soundgarden (who claim they played for free to benefit the Chris Cornell Foundation), raised “many millions of dollars.” But the recipients of the funds have not been identified.

The bandmembers’ suit came nearly six months after Cornell sued the surviving band members, claiming they’re withholding royalties in an attempt to “strong-arm Chris’ Estate into turning over” the seven songs Cornell recorded before his death. That case is still ongoing.

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