Black Collar Workers

Dimebag’s Estate is Suing Dean Guitars

  • Axl Rosenberg
Dimebag’s Estate is Suing Dean Guitars
Photo Credit: Rik Goldman via Wikimedia Commons

At this point, Dimebag is so synonymous with Dean Guitars that Dean Guitars might as well be called Dimebag Guitars. You can go online and find photos of Dime as a kid holding a Dean. That’s how inextricably linked the two icons are. Yeah, he was with Washburn for a minute, but something felt meaningful about him re-upping with Dean literally mere weeks before he was murdered.

So fans will be mighty surprised to learn that Dime’s estate is now suing the guitar manufacturer, with Dime’s longtime partner, Rita Haney, declaring that “the longstanding relationship between Dimebag and Dean Guitars is over.”

According to the suit — which you can read here — after Dime’s murder, his brother, Vinnie Paul, and father, Jerry Abbott, became the executors of the guitarist’s estate. During this time, Dean’s late CEO, Elliot Rubinson, manipulated Vinnie and Jerry to “water down” the amount owed to Dime’s estate.

The suit further alleges that Rubinson’s son and current Dean CEO, Evan Rubinson, is “incredibly disrespectful and often times belligerent to the legacy of [Dime].” Additionally, Haney claims that Dean failed to pay the contracted amount for using Dime’s image, failed to provide Dime’s estate with models of the endorsed guitars, and “registered the trademark for Razorback and the Razorback guitar design, both of which were the sole property of Abbott,” per Dime’s original agreement with Dean.

The suit seeks “preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, damages, and other appropriate relief.”

You can read Haney’s complete statement below:

“After much consideration, it is with great sadness that I announce the longstanding relationship between Dimebag and Dean Guitars is over. Unfortunately, we were forced to file a lawsuit against Dean Guitars on Monday, August 16th, for the reason set forth in the complaint that may be viewed at It was necessary for us to end Dime’s endorsement of Dean Guitars to continue to honor and celebrate his legacy the way he deserves, and in the way he had laid it out.

“We do not make this decision lightly and it is with a heavy heart that we share this news with you, Dime’s loyal fans. As you know, after signing the deal with Dean Guitars in 2004, Dime was ecstatic to finally be working with the one and only, Mr. Dean Zelinsky, who’s been gone from the company since 2008. Darrell had voiced several times that it was like going home where he belonged. It was something he was enormously proud of.

“I have spent days, re-reading through all of Darrell’s guitar notes, lists, letters, and drawings (some not yet released). knowing Darrell’s wishes and seeing them written down on paper, once again, after all these years solidifies that he would not have stayed. I want to see Dime’s words followed through and to have his legacy reach the level he intended.

“I made several attempts to amicably settle our dispute with Dean Guitars. however, it became clear to me that Dimebag’s relationship with Dean Guitars had come to an end when the new CEO of Dean Guitars told me that Dime has been dead for 16 years and they could not make the money they once did.. (so basically, he’s used up???) and then continued on to tell me i should go somewhere else. Well… we will!

“Moving forward, our goal will be to ensure the rightful and respectful celebration of Dime’s legacy and the indelible mark he and his music made on this world. It is with absolute conviction that we say that this can no longer happen whilst continuing to partner with Dean Guitars.

“As fans, we hope that you feel as we do. Our love for Dime has not wavered in the 16 plus years since his passing and he is still as relevant to us today, despite what we have been told by Dean Guitars. We want to capture the ‘spirit of the deal’ that was discarded by Dean Guitars, like it should have always been done. In this spirit, we soon hope to have more positive news to share with you regarding the future of ‘Dime guitars.’

“Dime loved his fans so very much, in return, you guys have never wavered in your loyalty and love for him. We cannot thank you enough for your continued support.

“Long live Dimebag Darrell! Getcha pull!”


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