It has been one and half years since legendary singer-songwriter Tom Petty passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest just 18 days before his 67th birthday. Having sold over 80 million records in a career spanning four decades, Petty is one of the best-selling music artists of all-time and left behind significant wealth to his wife Dana Petty, and his two daughters Adria Petty and Annakim Violette.
However, it seems that there is now a tussle between the trio for control over the management of his estate. According to Billboard, Dana filed a petition in the Los Angeles County Court alleging that Adria and Annakim — who are Petty's daughter from his marriage with Jane Benyo — are conspiring to push her out as a trustee, making it impossible for her to manage the estate.
Dana, who was named as a "directing trustee" of the family trust following Petty's death, has requested 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.
In the petition, Dana also accused Adria of abusive behavior, not just towards her, but also 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 claimed that Adria's "erratic behavior" held up the release of Petty's posthumous 'Greatest Hits' album and prevented the release of a 25th-anniversary reissue of the singer's 1994 'Wildflowers' LP which was slated to include previously unreleased music.
She stated that the latter was the result of Adria intervening in a deal with Warner Bros. Records and rejecting an offer valued at $1 million for no other reason than the timing being off.
In response, Adria filed a counter-petition where she accused Dana of ignoring two of Petty's wishes that were laid out in his will. She said Dana failed to distribute her father's "artistic properties" into a limited -liability company (LLC) — which would have, in turn, allocated a third of the artistic properties to Dana and the other two-thirds to Adria and Annakim— established in his will.
The petition noted that Petty's will gave Dana a six-month grace period before funding the LLC so funeral expenses could be taken care of and any potential claims against the trust could be paid but pointed out how it had now been more than 16 months since the singer's death.
It accused Dana of intentionally withholding funding from the LLC to keep her and Annakim from "participating equally in management" of her father's assets and complained that she and her sister had been left out of "marketing, promotional, and artistic considerations" around Petty's posthumous album releases. It asked that the court order Dana to fund the LLC immediately, allowing her and Annakim to thereby have a say in the management.