Breaking the Law

Dean Guitars Fires Back at Dimebag’s Estate Over Lawsuit

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Photo Credit: Rik Goldman via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday’s news that the estate of late Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott is suing Dean Guitars came as quite a shocker given how synonymous Dime and Dean have been over the years, with Dime’s longtime partner, Rita Haney, claiming that Dean failed to fulfill various contractual obligations to the estate, both monetary and otherwise. Further, she declared that “the longstanding relationship between Dimebag and Dean Guitars is over.”

Now Dean CEO and President, Evan Rubinson — who took over the company from his late father, Elliot Rubinson, several years back — has issued a statement of his own, calling Haney’s demands and accusations “unrealistic” and her claims “baseless” and “without any merit.”

The statement reads in full:

“We have always treated Dime and his brother Vinnie with the utmost respect and loyalty. We have enjoyed a long-standing, 17-year relationship with Dime and Vinnie, and continue that relationship with Vinnie’s estate on the ddrum side. We are shocked and saddened to see the actions that Ms. Haney has taken after both the Abbott brothers have tragically passed away, and we wish her the best in her future endeavors.

“However, it is unfortunate that Ms. Haney has allowed her unrealistic demands and accusations to dictate the future of the Dimebag Darrell legacy in the absence of Dime’s immediate family. Dean Guitars is proud to have played a role in ensuring Dime’s legacy not only survived, but thrived over the past 17 years. We have stood by the estate through good and bad. Ms. Haney’s claims — across the board — are baseless, without any merit, and not grounded in reality. We will allow the full truth to come out as the legal process takes its course.”

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.”

It’s impossible to read between the lines here given how little information we have publicly; Haney and Dime’s family believe they’ve been hosed, while Dean vigorously denies those accusations. We will, indeed, just need to let the legal process play out, which could take years.

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