Tom Petty’s daughters file suit as estate fight continues

Tom Petty’s daughters filed suit against his widow on Wednesday, as a struggle continues for control of the late singer-songwriter’s catalog.

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 suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks at least $5 million in damages.

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.

York 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.

13 PHOTOS
Tom Petty with his wife Dana
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Tom Petty with his wife Dana
NEW YORK CITY, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Dana Petty and Tom Petty attend TOM PETTY and the HEARTBREAKERS Celebrate Their New Book RUNNIN' DOWN A DREAM to Benefit The Tipitina's Foundation at Milk Studios on November 14, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by DAVID X PRUTTING/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
BURBANK, CA - OCTOBER 02: Musician Tom Petty, right and wife Dana arrive at Runnin' Down A Dream: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers premiere held in Burbank, California on October 2, 2007. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 23: Tom Petty and wife Dana York attend the 31st annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on April 23, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
Tom Petty and his wife Dana at the premiere of 'Concert for George' a new documentary film celebrating the music of George Harrison through performances by legendary musicians. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 06: Musician Tom Petty (C), daughter Adria Petty and wife Dana Petty arrive at 2012 MTV Video Awards at Staples Center on September 6, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 10: Tom Petty and wife Dana Petty attend the 11th annual Golden Heart Awards at The Beverly Hilton hotel on May 9, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Tom Petty (L) and his wife Dana York attend a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on February 25, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 15: Singer/musician Tom Petty (L) and his wife Dana York attend the Museum Gala 2007 at The American Museum of Natural History November 15, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Singer Tom Petty and wife Dana York arrive at the 2005 Billboard Music Awards held at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
BURBANK, CA - OCTOBER 02: Musician Tom Petty and wife Dana York attend the world premiere of 'Runnin' Down A Dream' at the Steven J. Ross Theater at Warner Bros. Studios on October 2, 2007 in Burbank, California. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich, the documentary 'Runnin' Down A Dream' tells the story of rock and roll band Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images)
Tom Petty and wife Dana York during The 19th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony - Arrivals at Waldorf Astoria in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
BURBANK, CA - OCTOBER 19: Musician Tom Petty and his wife Dana arrive at a gala screening of 'The Concert for Bangladesh Revisited with George Harrison and Friends' at the Warner lot on October 19, 2005 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
Tom Petty and wife Dana York during The 19th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony - Arrivals at Waldorf Astoria in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
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The new lawsuit, filed by attorney Alex Weingarten, accuses York Petty of usurping the estate’s assets at the daughters’ expense.

Adam Weinstein, York 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, York 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.

34 PHOTOS
Tom Petty through the years
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Tom Petty through the years
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Tom PETTY (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Tom Petty (Photo by Richard McCaffrey/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Tom PETTY (Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 01: Photo of MUDCRUTCH and Tom PETTY; Posed studio portrait of Tom Petty (Photo by Jim McCrary/Redferns)
(Original Caption) Portrait of the man who made it big with 'The Heartbreakers' in 1976. (Photo by Neville Elder/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK: Tom Petty from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers posed in New York in 1976 (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers 1977 (Photo by Chris Walter/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - JULY 15: Photo of Tom PETTY and Tom PETTY & The HEARTBREAKERS; Tom Petty performing live onstage with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform at the Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, Illinois, November 23, 1979. (Photo by Kirk West/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 06: PALLADIUM Photo of Tom PETTY and Tom PETTY & The HEARTBREAKERS, Tom Petty performing live onstage with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, playing Fender Stratocaster guitar (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
LOS ANGELES: Tom Petty performs live in Los Angeles in 1983 (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)
CHAMPAIGN - SEPTEMBER 1985: Musicians and songwriters Bob Dylan and Tom Petty pose at Farm Aid on September 22, 1985 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Deborah Feingold/Getty Images)
Tom Petty performs on stage with Bob Dylan at Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 19th September 1987. (Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns)
Tom Petty (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Musician Tom Petty attending on 'ASCAP Music Awards' on May 15, 1991 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Musician Tom Petty attending the re-naming party for 'Def American-American Records' on August 27, 1993 at the Hollywood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Musician Tom Petty attending 12th Annal MTV Video Music Awards on September 7, 1995 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
CANADA - MARCH 17: Tom Petty (Photo by Ron Bull/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Musician Tom Petty attending the world premiere of 'The Postman' on December 12, 1997 at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Musician Tom Petty attending 'Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Receives Hollywood Walk of Fame Star' on April 28, 1999 at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Tom Petty during Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Tom Petty and Marilyn Manson at the premiere of 'Blow' at the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, Ca. 3/29/01. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
Tom Petty during 2005 Billboard Music Awards - Arrivals at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 15: Singer/musician Tom Petty attends the Museum Gala 2007 at The American Museum of Natural History November 15, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Dana Petty and Tom Petty attend TOM PETTY and the HEARTBREAKERS Celebrate Their New Book RUNNIN' DOWN A DREAM to Benefit The Tipitina's Foundation at Milk Studios on November 14, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by DAVID X PRUTTING/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - APRIL 14: Rita Wilson, Eric Idol, T-Bone Burnett, Tom Petty, Jeff Lyne, Sir Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Olivia Harrison, Tom Hanks and Dhani Harrison attend the ceremony honoring the late George Harrison with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 14, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 31: Rock musician Tom Petty watches the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on December 31, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2011 NBAE (Photo by Evan Gole/NBAE via Getty Images)
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform a benefit for KCSN radio at the Plaza Del Sol Performance Art Center on the campus of Cal State Northridge. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Musician Tom Petty speaks at a ceremony where Jeff Lynne receives a star on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame" in Los Angeles April 23, 2015. REUTERS/Phil McCarten
Musician Tom Petty performs on stage after being inducted during the 47th Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction ceremony in New York June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Musician Tom Petty speaks to guests after being inducted during the 47th Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction ceremony in New York June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Musician Tom Petty performs at the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year show held in his honor in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
DEL MAR, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 17: Tom Petty performs in concert on the third day of KAABOO Del Mar on September 17, 2017 in Del Mar, California. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - AUGUST 17: Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performs on stage at Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena on August 17, 2017 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images for ABA)
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