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Tom Petty’s Daughters, Widow Settle Legal Battle Over Estate

Tom Petty’s widow and daughters from a previous marriage have settled their bitter legal battle, according to a report in Rolling Stone.

Earlier this year, Adria Petty and Annakim Violette, the late singer’s daughters with his former wife Jane, sued his second wife, Dana York, for $5 million, alleging that she had deprived them of their rightful role in determining how Petty’s works are released.

However, Rolling Stone, citing legal documents, reports that both parties, as well as Petty’s long-time manager Anthony Dimitriades, reached a “settlement agreement” on December 10 in regard to the estate battle. Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

A rep for the Petty estate did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.

Presumably, the settlement clears the way for the estate to continue releasing material from the singer’s voluminous vault of unreleased recordings — among other projects, an expanded 25th anniversary edition of his Grammy-nominated 1994 album “Wildflowers” has been hung up for many months. In a petition filed in probate court in April, Dana Petty said Adria had interfered with plans to release “Wildflowers — All the Rest,” which would include outtakes from the original album.

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 of this year, 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.

The new lawsuit, filed by attorney Alex Weingarten, accuses Dana Petty of usurping the estate’s assets at the daughters’ expense.

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.

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