“The buyout offer that was demanded by the Estate has been grossly mischaracterized and we are confident that clarity will come out in court,” the statement from Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd reads. “All offers to buy out our interests have been unsolicited and rejected outright. For more than a year, Soundgarden’s social media accounts have been hijacked; misleading and confusing our fans. Being a band from Washington State since 1984, we are proud of Soundgarden’s musical legacy, work and career. We look forward to completing the final Soundgarden album.”
In the suit filed in U.S. District Court Western District of Washington, Cornell says that the surviving members offered her “the villainously low figure of less than $300,000,” despite having allegedly received a $16,000,000 offer from an outside music investor for Soundgarden’s master recordings.
At the time of his death, Cornell was in a partnership with his Soundgarden bandmates. Per the lawsuit, Cornell says she sent a demand letter to the band’s surviving members to buy out her late husband’s interests in Soundgarden and related entities.
In response to what Cornell deems to be the band’s “disingenuous offer,” she says she submitted a counter-offer of $4,000,000 to each surviving band member for their collective interests in Soundgarden and related entities, an offer that was allegedly rejected. Cornell says the surviving members also rejected her follow-up offer of $7,000,000 each.
“As requested by the Estate of Chris Cornell and as required by the laws of the State of Washington, the surviving members of Soundgarden submitted to the Cornell Estate four months ago a buy-out offer of the Estate’s interests in Soundgarden calculated by respected music industry valuation expert Gary Cohen,” the members said on Wednesday in response to the suit.
Cornell and the surviving Soundgarden members have been in litigation in federal court since 2019 when Cornell filed a suit alleging they are wrongfully withholding royalty money owing to the Cornell estate in an attempt to force Vicky Cornell to turn over seven unreleased recordings Chris Cornell made in 2017 before he died.
SPIN has reached out to reps for Vicky Cornell’s for comment.