Tom Petty’s family continues to fight over his legacy, but there’s a bizarre new twist no one saw coming. New court documents obtained by Page Six reveal that Adria Petty, the eldest daughter of the late rocker, allegedly planned to “sell out” her dad’s legacy by creating a line of salad dressings and other supermarket products using the late Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers frontman’s image. Petty’s widow, Dana York, reportedly stopped the plan, calling it a “sad perversion of Tom’s legacy.”
An explosive new legal filing states that Adria, Petty’s 44-year-old daughter from his first marriage to Jane Benyo, wanted to authorize the late rock legend’s “name and likeness to be used to promote products akin to Paul Newman, whose face adorns bottles of salad dressing and so on.” The suit claims that Tom Petty would never have permitted his image to be used in such a way and that he never “sold out” while he was alive.
On the flip side, Adria Petty has alleged in probate court that her father’s widow has been “misappropriating” money from his estate.
When Tom Petty died in October 2017 at age 66, Adria and Annakim Violette, his two daughters from his marriage to Jane Benyo, were given equal control of his estate with Dana, his wife since 2001. The three women have butted heads repeatedly over Tom’s music catalog, merchandising, and more.
Dana – who has alleged that Adria Petty has sent “abusive” messages to her, calling her “selfish,” “unkind” and “a jerk” and threatening to make things “legal”— is now asking the judge to have Adria and Annakim removed from the Petty trust. The docs state that Dana “cannot allow [Petty’s] Daughters to continue down this path of destroying everything their father was about.”
In the court filing, Petty’s daughters are accused of trying to bully Dana and have “threatened, maligned, and sued” the people Tom trusted and worked closely with for decades.
Alex Weingarten, the lawyer for Adria and Annakim Petty, said the allegations in Dana York’s new court filing are “completely 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.”
Last month, Tom Petty’s daughters filed a $5 million lawsuit against their stepmother, alleging that she deprived them of their rightful role in determining how their father’s works are released, according to Billboard.
In the 19 months since Tom Petty’s death, the compilation albums An American Treasure and The Best of Everything have been released, but Petty’s widow and daughters battled over the albums’ song list credits, liner notes, and more. Dana York also alleged that Adria Petty has interfered with plans to release a third album, Wildflowers — All the Rest.
Despite the heartbreaking legal drama, Adria Petty told Rolling Stone she loves her stepmother and that the family is just trying to figure out how to work with everyone’s lawyers and advisors.
“We all love each other and we all work pretty great together when we speak directly to each other,” Adria explained. “I have no doubt in my mind everything is going to work out.”