According to a statement about the pact, Vicky Cornell — who represents the estate of her late husband — as of June 15, control of the band’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts as well as the official website have been transferred to surviving members Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, Ben Shepherd and their managers at Red Light Management.
“Through our joint social media efforts and our temporary agreement, my family, along with the surviving members of Soundgarden, hope to celebrate Chris and his music out of mutual respect and love,” said Vicky Cornell in a statement shared with Billboard. “We all recognize the profound pain caused by Chris’s tragic loss and the path it has taken us down.”
In March, the members of the group accused Vicky Cornell of locking them out of their social accounts and website, and asked a judge to step in to resolve the dispute. The band and business manager Rit Venerus filed papers in Washington State U.S. District Court on March 25 accusing her of locking them out their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo, YouTube, Snapchat, Tumblr, Top Spin and Pinterest accounts, as well as Soundgarden’s official website, and changing all the passwords.
The band asked a judge to order her to hand over the passwords or include a final posting stating, “Soundgarden has temporarily suspended its official social media accounts due to pending litigation.”
Vicky Cornell has been embroiled in an ongoing legal dispute with the remaining members of the band after the Soundgarden frontman’s sudden death on May 18, 2017, at the age of 52 while on tour with the band in Detroit. He left his property — including his intellectual and personal property rights — to his wife for the benefit of their two minor children.
On Dec. 9, 2019, two and a half years after he died, Vicky filed a lawsuit against the remaining members of the band and Venerus, asking a judge to declare her the rightful owner of her husband’s unreleased recordings and of his name and likeness. She also demanded the court order the band to open their financial books to her and to provide her with an inventory of all the rocker’s personal property that was stored at the Pearl Jam warehouse space. In addition, she claimed the band was withholding hundreds of thousands of dollars from her.
At press time, spokespeople for the Cornell estate and Soundgarden have not returned requests for comment on the terms and length of the agreement.
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