The widow of Tom Petty is being sued by his daughters as the legal battle over the late rock icon’s estate continues to escalate more than a year after his death from an accidental opioid overdose.
As Billboard reports, Petty’s daughters, Annakim Violette and Adria Petty, are suing his widow, Dana York Petty, for $5 million, alleging she and several other defendants breached their fiduciary duty, engaged in unfair competition and unjust enrichment.
The suit, filed on behalf of plaintiff Petty Unlimited (described as “an LLC established in Petty’s will that allocated one-third of Petty’s assets to each of the three women”) accuses Dana, as “directing trustee,” of “self-dealing, theft, and gross mismanagement of company assets” by failing to fund the LLC with assets from the trust.
Instead, the suit alleges that she and several co-defendants set up a separate LLC, Tom Petty Legacy, “as a vehicle through which to deprive” Petty Unlimited of the assets that were supposed to deposited into the trust, thus violating California’s common law against unfair competition in addition to the state’s Business and Professions Code section 17200.
“Tom Petty wanted his music and his legacy to be controlled equally by his daughters, Adria and Annakim, and his wife, Dana,” said Petty Unlimited’s attorney, Alex Weingarten, in a statement to Billboard. “Dana has refused Tom’s express wishes and insisted instead upon misappropriating Tom’s life’s work for her own selfish interests. After countless efforts to resolve this matter amicably and out of court, we could no longer stand idly by and watch Dana disrespect Tom’s wishes, his music, and his legacy.”
The suit is seeking compensatory damages “in excess of $5 million according to proof at trial, punitive and exemplary damages, recovery of Petty’s assets from Dana and the establishment of a ‘constructive trust’ in the plaintiff’s favour over all assets ‘wrongfully’ in the defendants’ possession.”
Dana’s lawyer, Adam Streisand, responded by telling Billboard the lawsuit is “misguided and meritless,” and “sadly 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.”
Last month, Dana Petty sued her late husband’s daughters, alleging they conspired to attempt to push her out of the estate.
Petty passed away in October 2017, with the coroner concluding he died from an “accidental drug overdose as a result of taking a variety of medications,” including “fentanyl.”