The bodyguard who broke down Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell‘s hotel room door in an attempt to save his life used to date model Heidi Klum, according to the Daily Mail.
Martin Kirsten worked as Klum’s personal bodyguard until he began dating her in 2012. They split up after 18 months.
On the night of Chris Cornell’s death, the singer’s wife, Vicky Cornell, asked Kirsten to check on Chris because she felt her husband had acted strangely during a post-gig phone call with her. Chris’ band Soundgarden had played Detroit’s Fox Theater earlier that evening.
Kirsten reportedly had a key to Cornell’s hotel room — 1136 of the MGM Grand — but found the security latch had been engaged when he tried to open it. After hotel security refused to open the door without authorization, he chose to kick it down. Once inside the $600-per-night room, he found the 52-year-old singer dead in the bathroom, a red exercise cord around his neck.
The Daily Mail obtained pictures of the door to room 1136, which was sealed off and “unavailable” for booking by other guests at the MGM Grand. The door and frame to the room have reportedly already been repaired, erasing the damage from Kirsten’s desperate attempts to get to Chris before it was too late.
How Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell ended his life at the MGM Grand https://t.co/gH8olKem7g
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) May 20, 2017
The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Chris Cornell’s death a suicide — something the grunge icon’s family is struggling to deal with.
In a statement released on May 19, Vicky Cornell expressed shock and confusion over the death of her husband and the father of her children.
“Chris’ death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As anyone who knew him commented, Chris as a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend,” she wrote.
“His world revolved around his family first and, of course, his music second. He flew home for Mother’s Day to spend time with our family. He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children. When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do.”
“What happened is inexplicable 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.”
The Detroit News reconstructed the events leading up to Chris Cornell’s death on the night of May 17/May 18. According to the report, Chris and his Soundgarden bandmates left the stage of Fox Theater at 11:15 p.m., May 17, and the singer was back in his MGM Grand room by 11:30 p.m. Kirsten joined him in his room for a few minutes, working with Chris’ laptop and giving him two Ativan pills for anxiety before retiring to his own room two doors down the hallway.
At 11:35 p.m., Chris called Vicky. During the phone call, she said he was slurring his words and kept telling her that “I’m just tired.” He also said he may have taken “an extra Ativan or two.”
Alarmed by her husband’s behavior, Vicky called Kirsten at 12:15 a.m., May 18. It was then that the bodyguard kicked down the door to room 1136. Once inside, he found a second locked door, which he also kicked down. He then found Chris deceased on the bathroom floor with blood coming from his mouth. The rocker had tied a red exercise band to a carabiner shackle and jammed it into the door frame in order to hang himself.
Vicky Cornell’s attorney, Kirk Pasich, said his client does not believe Chris Cornell’s death was a willful act.
“The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions,” he said.
Martin Kirsten has not made any public statements about Chris Cornell’s death. According to the Daily Mail, he broke up with Heidi Klum and resumed his bodyguard career because he “was sick of being a house husband.”
[Featured Image by Buda Mendes/Getty Images]