In the long legal fight between the three surviving members of Soundgarden and Vicky Cornell, Chris’ widow, the latest round has gone to the band.
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that in December 2019, Vicky claimed that Soundgarden was witholding “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in royalty payments from her. There was also a claim that Rit Vererus, the band’s manager didn’t have Vicky’s best interests at heart.
There was a February 2020 counter by the band, saying that she Vicky was trying to take ownership of unreleased songs that were owned by the entire band, not just by Chris.
Billboard reports that judge Michelle Peterson has ruled that neither of these allegations has merit. No royalties have been withheld because the band owns everything until they vote to distribute those royalties. The claim is that Chris wasn’t part of this partnership when he died so Vicky has no claim to them. They were only required to offer her a buyout for her portion of the band.
Meanwhile, Vererus is blameless because he’s not her advisor.
There will be another legal review of this whole thing. But that’s still not the end of it because this past February, Vicky sued the band again, saying that the buyout they offered wasn’t enough. That is still pending.
This ain’t over yet, so the release of any final Soundgarden material featuring the vocal demos Chis left behind is still a long way off.