Tom Petty’s widow has issued legal threats against his eldest daughter, Adria, accusing her of planning to create a Paul Newman-style range of salad dressings using her father’s image.
The new allegations are part of a broader feud between Dana and Petty’s daughters from his first marriage that is ultimately about control of the Petty estate and intellectual property.
Dana is the sole trustee of her late husband’s trust, however, Variety reports, the trust directs her to establish an entity to control Petty’s catalog, with, crucially, “equal participation” from his daughters.
Daughters Adria and Annakim have interpreted “equal participation” to mean they should get control of the entity by a two-thirds majority vote.
Dana Petty, who was married to Tom for the last 10 years of his life, has now accused Adria of sending her abusive text messages as a bitter struggle for control of the late rocker’s estate escalates, Page Six reports.
The latest legal blast from Dana comes after Adria alleged in probate court that Dana has been “misappropriating” money from Petty’s estate and intellectual property for her own gain.
Dana has strongly denied these claims, and in the new court documents filed by Dana and seen by Page Six, she says, “Adria wanted to authorize Tom’s name and likeness to be used to promote products akin to Paul Newman, whose face adorns bottles of salad dressing and so on. But Tom would never have permitted such a thing, he never ‘sold out’ while he was alive and refused to do any such thing despite numerous opportunities. Dana is certain Tom’s fans would also find it a sad perversion of Tom’s legacy.”
Adria, who is Petty’s eldest daughter by his first wife, Jane, is a film director and artist living in New York.
Alex Weingarten, the lawyer for Adria and Annakim, told Page Six the allegations in Dana’s new court filing are “completely false” and accused the stepmother of having failed to properly manage Tom’s intellectual property and music catalogue.
Weingarten said, “Dana and her lawyer are basing their case on smoke and mirrors. Every claim they make is demonstrably false. Adria and Annakim are laser focused on one thing—honoring and protecting their father’s legacy and enforcing the terms of his trust, as written.”
The rock icon died at the age of 66 from an accidental overdose in 2017. According to an autopsy, Petty’s system was found to have traces of fentanyl, oxycodone, temazepam, alprazolam, citalopram, acetyl fentanyl, and despropionyl fentanyl. He was said by his family to have been suffering agonizing pain from a broken hip but wanted to continue to tour.
In her new filing, Dana includes “abusive” text messages allegedly sent to her by Adria regarding the cover design for the four-CD box set of Tom’s posthumous work, An American Treasure.
After Dana suggested an alternative cover, Adria fired back, “It looks like a redneck joke to me... don’t come in and fuck things up that I’ve been working on for months.”
Dana’s attorney Adam Streisand told Page Six, “Dana Petty would have done almost anything to avoid all of this. Over the past weeks and months, however, the behavior of her stepdaughters Adria and Annakim has gone from unconscionable to unhinged—and it needs to be stopped.”