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Chris Cornell’s family ‘upset’ by suicide reports, believes that the death may be drug-related

The family of the rocker Chris Cornell, speaking out of the midst of the headlines that claim the Soundgarden singer “intentionally took his life” after an autopsy showed Cornell hanged himself.

“Without the results of toxicological tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris—or if substances contributed to his downfall,” Kirk Pasich, a lawyer for the Cornell family, told Fox News in a statement.

Pasich said Cornell had a prescription for the anti-anxiety drug Ativan, which he said has various side effects.

The musician was found dead in his hotel Detroit room Wednesday after performing a concert.

The medical examiner in Detroit, said Cornell hanged himself. The police told two Detroit newspapers, the singer was found with a belt around his neck.

Cornell’s wife, Vicky, said she spoke to her husband after his Detroit performance, and he told her that he may have taken “an extra Ativan or two” and was slurring his words.

“Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words, and has an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled,” Vicky said chris Cornell. “What happened is incomprehensible and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life.”

She ended by thanking the fans for their “outpouring of love and support.”

Chris Cornell was a leader of the grunge movement in Seattle-based Soundgarden, with whom he gained critical and commercial appreciation, but also a success outside the band with other projects, including Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, as well as solo albums.

In 1994 Rolling Stone interview, Cornell said he struggled with alcohol and drug abuse problems.

“I went from being a daily drug user at 13 to having bad drug experiences and quitting drugs by the time I was 14, and then not having friends until the time I was 16,” he revealed. “There was about two years where I was more or less agoraphobic and not deal with someone, not talk to anyone, had no friends. All the friends that I had were still f–ked up with drugs and were people who I didn’t really have anything in common with each other.”

In 2012 he told the Mirror when Soundgarden split, he relapsed.

“It is something that would have happened, even if Soundgarden had together. It was a long slow slide, and then a long slow recovery, but there was self-discovery, ‘ Cornell recalled.

He said he got clean after going to rehab.

“I came out of rehab and immediately went on tour with Audioslave, sold millions of records and was playing in the front of the crowd of 10,000 or 20,000.”

He was widely respected in the music industry: He achieved success in each band line-up, he was part of it, his voice was unforgettable, and powerful, and he was an experienced songwriter, even worked on a number of film soundtracks, including the James Bond theme song for 2006’s “Casino Royale” and “The Keeper” from the movie “Machine Gun Preacher” which earned Cornell a Golden Globe nomination.

Fox News’ Diana Falzone and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.

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