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Soundgarden Gets Its Social Media Accounts Back in Temporary Agreement With Vicky Cornell

Chris Cornell, Vicky Karayiannis
Tara Ziemba/Getty Images

Chris Cornell and Vicky Karayiannis arrive to the Los Angeles premiere of 'The Promise' at TCL Chinese Theatre on April 12, 2017 in Hollywood, Calif.

Soundgarden and Chris Cornell's widow, Vicky, announced on Wednesday (June 16) that they have reached a temporary agreement in their dispute over the band's social media accounts.

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.”

The band also posted a message to fans on their official site, urging them to keep it about the music and to avoid personal attacks. "Our site is intended to celebrate the music, achievements, career, and legacy of the band along with news and information about any current and future plans, including relevant solo work," they wrote. "We encourage our fans to share their comments, praise, and criticism, but we do expect these to be appropriate, courteous, and respectful to each other and to the band. We are super stoked to have our socials return to discussions and posts about being in a f***ing great ROCK BAND!! Remember the guitars, drums, vocals, and volume?!!!"

They asked for no more comments about "wives, children, exes, significant others, siblings, parents, great aunts, 2nd cousins… etc. of any of the current or former band members," and asked that there be no "threats, bullying, or mocking of any kind, directed at anyone." In addition, the group asked fans not to discuss or initiate any "inane conspiracy theories casting blame for harm to Chris Cornell," noting that any such inappropriate comments will be removed and that any threats, bullying or abusive language will also result in posters losing the opportunity to comment on the site.

"We admire the character and caliber of all the fans who’ve supported and grown with us over the years, geez…decades!!" they wrote. "Keep us proud! Peace and love to our brothers and sisters!!"

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.

Asked about the "temporary" designation of the pact, a spokesperson for Soundgarden explained to Billboard that the agreement, "lasts until the court substantively rules on ownership of the accounts and website.”

See the full announcement below: