Tom Petty's daughters sue his widow for $5 million over 'gross mismanagement' of the late musician's estate
There seems to be no end in sight of the tussle between Tom Petty's widow Dana Petty and his two daughters -- Adria Petty and Annakim Violette -- for control over the management of the late singer's estate.
According to CNN, Adria and Annakim — who are Petty's daughters from his marriage with Jane Benyo — filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on May 15, asking for $5 million in damages plus attorney's fees from their step-mother.
We previously reported that Dana had filed a petition in the Los Angeles County Court last month alleging that Adria and Annakim are conspiring to push her out as a trustee and making it impossible for her to manage the estate.
In response, Adria filed a counter-petition where she accused Dana of ignoring two of Petty's wishes that had been laid out in his will, including failing to distribute her father's "artistic properties" into a limited-liability company (LLC) which would have seen her and Annakim receive two-thirds of it.
This latest lawsuit sees the plaintiff listed as that LLC, Tom Petty Unlimited, which was formed in March 2018 following the singer's death at the age of 67 due to an accidental drug overdose with the purpose of managing his assets.
It accused Dana of "gross mismanagement" of the LLC, which controls Petty's rights as a recording artist, composer, publisher and producer and oversees his memorabilia, equipment, musical instruments and, other financial assets.
The lawsuit alleged that Dana had caused Adria and Annakim to lose out on business opportunities through her "exploitation of master recordings" which their father had made with a range of companies such as MCA Records, Geffen Records, and Warner Music Group. It also said Dana had created a company called "Tom Petty Legacy" in a bid to "usurp Plaintiff's business opportunities and misappropriate its assets."
Dana's attorney, Adam Streisand, described the lawsuit as "misguided and meritless" and that it "demonstrates exactly why Tom Petty designated his wife to be the sole trustee with authority to manage his estate. Dana will not allow destructive nonsense like this to distract her from protecting her husband's legacy."
Indeed, Dana had been named as a "directing trustee" of the family's trust, and she complained in her 270-page April lawsuit that Adria had been abusive towards her, Petty's managers, record labels, and former bandmates.
For proof, she pointed towards an email where Adria wrote, "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."
She also accused Adria and Annakim of trying to "rule by majority" in what was supposed to be a three-person partnership and asked the court to establish an operating agreement that would appoint a manager to exercise authority over any "significant decisions" made regarding the singer's assets.
She also asked that all such decisions require consensus between all three women to prevent Adria and Annakim from overriding her.