Family dispute between Tom Petty's kids and rocker's widow drags on

Petty's widow is allegedly engaged in a new dispute with one of the singer-songwriter's daughters over an apparent effort to use Petty's likeness on a line of food products, according to the New York Post.
Image: 2012 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals
Tom Petty, daughter Adria Petty and wife Dana Petty arrive at 2012 MTV Video Awards on Sept. 6, 2012 in Los Angeles,Gregg DeGuire / WireImage file

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By Variety and NBC News

CORRECTION (May 30, 2019, 6:52 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated when the lawsuit was filed by Tom Petty's daughters. It was filed May 15, 2019, not May 29, 2019.

LOS ANGELES — A family spat between Tom Petty's daughters and the rocker's widow continues to unfold.

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Adria Petty and Annakim Violette allege that their father's wife, Dana York Petty, has deprived them of their rightful role in determining how Petty's works are released. The two made the allegation in a lawsuit filed May 15 seeking at least $5 million in damages.

Now Dana York Petty is allegedly engaged in a new dispute with one of the singer-songwriter's daughters, Adria Petty over an apparent effort to use Petty's likeness on a line of food products, according to the New York Post.

Petty died in October 2017 of an accidental drug overdose, leaving his widow as the trustee of his trust. The terms of the trust entitle the daughters to "equal participation" in decisions about how Petty's catalog is exploited. The daughters have interpreted that to mean that they get two votes out of three, giving them majority control.

Dana Petty filed a petition in probate court in April, seeking to put Petty's catalog in the hands of a professional manager. She argued that Adria Petty had been erratic and abusive, and had made it difficult to conduct business in an orderly way. Adria Petty filed a separate probate petition in an effort to claim control of the estate.

Adam Streisand, Dana Petty's attorney, issued a statement calling the suit "destructive nonsense."

"This misguided and meritless lawsuit sadly demonstrates exactly why Tom Petty designated his wife to be the sole trustee with authority to manage his estate," he said. "Dana will not allow destructive nonsense like this to distract her from protecting her husband's legacy."

Since Tom Petty's death, two compilations have been released, "An American Treasure" and "The Best of Everything" — both of which involved a good deal of conflict between Petty's widow and daughters, over content, release dates, credits and liner notes. In her probate petition, Dana Petty said Adria had interfered with plans to release a third album, "Wildflowers — All the Rest," which would include outtakes from the original album and coincide with the original's 25th anniversary.