Breaking the Law

Dean Guitars CEO Says Rita Haney’s “Desperate Attempt” is “Devoid of Reality”

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Photo Credit: Rik Goldman via Wikimedia Commons

The Dean Guitars vs. Estate of Dimebag legal scuffle is getting a bit snippy… and it’s only just begun.

To recap: the estate of late Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, led by his longtime girlfriend Rita Haney, is suing Dean Guitars, alleging that the company owes them money, filed trademarks that weren’t theirs, and has disrespected Dime’s legacy. Dean CEO and President, Evan Rubinson — who took over the company from his late father, Elliot Rubinson, several years back — issued a statement in response to the lawsuit, calling Haney’s demands and accusations “unrealistic” and her claims “baseless” and “without any merit.”

Now, responding to a troll on Twitter, Rubinson has doubled down on those comments and taken a personal shot at Haney, saying:

“Total slanderous comment & devoid of reality. This is Rita’s desperate attempt to incite riots & death threats against me personally. I challenge her to release voice recordings of me ever disparaging or degrading Dime or Vinnie (the latter of which was a very close friend).”

On one hand, Rubinson’s “challenge” is completely empty; of course Rita doesn’t have such recordings, because who’s sitting around recording phone calls?

But on the other, only Evan knows whether Rita’s claims are “devoid of reality” or not. The whole lawsuit seems a bit ridiculous to me, but that’s based on nothing other than my personal feelings. And it is certainly NOT ok to be receiving death threats; Rita had to know this would happen given the, um, passionate nature of Pantera’s fanbase.

Still, I want to be clear: I have no friggin’ clue who’s in the right here. Too much is unknown.

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.”

We’ll keep you posted on any further developments.

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