Tom Petty might look at the family fight over his estate as a great new Heartbreakers song. Daughter Adria Petty says “selfish, unreliable people and drug addicts” are trying to decide how Petty’s multi-million estate is being managed.
Petty, 66, died of a drug overdose in Oct. 2917 and left a will. But even that hasn’t stop the legal infighting, according to gossip site TMZ.
The battle pits Dana York, his second wife of 17 years against daughters Adria and Annakim Violette from Petty’s previous, 22-year marriage to first wigfe Jane Benyo.
Petty married Benyo when she was just 17, and she was the inspiration behind Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks’ song, “Edge of Sevengeen.”
According to court papers, the will gives Dana, Adria and Annakim equal say in the disposition of the estate, including unpublished music, which could be worth millions of dollars.
Dana is reportedly pushing to include some unreleased solo music on a 25th-anniversary reissue of Petty’s hit album Wildflowers.
The original was his second studio album as a soloist. It was released in 1994. The album as certified triple platinum, which means it sold more than three million copies.
Oddly, musical artists are often worth more dead than alive thanks to royalties and re-issues of previous materials.
Petty was the sixth top-earning deceased star in 2017, behind Michael Jackson, Arnold Palmer, Charles Schulz, Elvis and Bob Marley. His estate earned an estimated $20 million, according to Vanity Fair.
Petty’s career spanned more than four decades and he remained popular right up until the time of his death. His estate was estimated to be worth about $95 million.
In all he sold more than 60 million albums both as a solo artist and with his three bands.
In the latest legal skirmish, widow Dana York Petty claims Adria and Annakim are trying to frustrate her ability to manage the estate. Dana claims she is the estate’s trustee.
But Adria claims in a counter filing that she is the “directing trustee.” She’s accusing Dana of trying to make all of the decisions without getting a sign-off by her and her sister as the will provides.
Adria claims in court papers that her father’s will gives her and her sister equal input on decisions regarding the estate.
Significantly, they charge that Dana is refusing to set up a separate company to assume Petty’s artistic property from a trust, so it can be jointly administered by all three women as the will stipulates.
The move, or lackthereof, is reporting allowing Dana to keep sole control of the assets.
Adria is asking a judge to force Dana to comply with her father’s will.
Heartbreakers band members Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell are also being dragged into the fight.
At one point, Adria bitched to them in an email. “What I don’t have the temperament for is having my entire life raped. Being disparaged. My dad being disgraced. And being surrounded by selfish, unreliable people and drug addicts.”
The fight has become so petty (no pun intended, well maybe) the three women are even fighting over the image used on a sign at a park dedicated to the singer in his hometown of Gainsville, Fla.
Dana has asked a judge to appoint a day-to-day manager for the estate, and to force Adria, in particular, to act rationally.
Petty released 15 studio albums in as part of the Heartbreakers, the Traveling Wilburies, with Bob Dylan and George Harrison, and as a soloist.
He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
He reunited with The Heartbreakers in 1991.
Petty also dabbled in acting. He appeared in the 1997 Kevin Costner film, “The Postman,” a post-apocalyptic action-adventure film.
He also appeared several times as himself on the “Garry Shandling Show” in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and voiced characters in “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill.”
His death was ruled an accidental drug overdose.