Chris Cornell's Widow Opens up About His Battle With Addiction, Final Night

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chris cornell
(Photo: Twitter / @enews)

A month after the death of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, his widow Vicky is speaking out. She claims that her husband "did not want to die," even though the late singer was found dead in his hotel room after as a result of suicide by hanging.

“My Chris was happy, loving, caring and warm,” Vicky said. “This was not a depressed man—it wasn’t like I missed that. What I missed were the signs of addiction.”

Vicky has two children with her late husband, 12-year-old Toni and 11-year-old Christopher. The "Black Hole Sun" singer also has a 17-year-old daughter named Lily from a previous marriage.

MORE: Chris Cornell's Widow Searching for Answers After Musician's Suicide

During an interview with PEOPLE magazine, Vicky explained that she believes Cornell's relapse into drug abuse made him behave in a way that was uncharacteristic in his last hours.

“He didn’t want to die,” she said. “If he was of sound mind, I know he wouldn’t have done this.”

An addiction psychiatrist at Phoenix House, Dr. Benjamin Nordstrom, addressed the impact of mixing drugs.

“It’s hard to overstate how unpredictable the effects of mixing various mind-altering substances can be. Some of these combinations, especially those that involve sedative drugs, can lead to levels of impairment that are far out of proportion to what would have happened if the drugs were taken separately," he said. “In addition, suicide is nearly impossible to predict for families and professionals alike. Anyone struggling with substance abuse should seek help.”

In 2016, Cornell was prescribed Ativan, which is a sleep aid. However, he seemed more deprived of rest in the days leading up to his death.

“That was a sign something was off,” Vicky said.

On the night he passed away, Cornell accidentally woke Vicky by remotely turning the lights on and off at their home by using a smart home system connected to his phone. Vicky remembered being startled by the situation so she called her husband.

“He was on a rant,” she said. “I said, ‘You need to tell me what you took,’ and he just got mean. That wasn’t my Chris.”

Because of these tragic circumstances, Vicky is devoting herself to helping in any way possible to make sure that other children don't experience the same pain that her children have.

“Addiction is a disease,” she said. “That disease can take over you and has full power. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure other children don’t have to cry like mine have cried.”

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