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“Dimebag” Darrell Estate cuts ties & files lawsuit against Dean Guitars

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Lisa Lake/Getty Images

One of the most famed musician/guitar brand partnerships is no more.

The estate for late Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott has cut ties with Dean Guitars after 17 years with the company. Additionally, Rita Haney — Dime’s longtime partner and trustee of his estate — has filed a lawsuit against Dean, alleging fraud, breach of written agreement and false endorsement, among other counts.

In a long statement posted to Dime’s website, Haney writes, “It became clear to me that Dimebag’s relationship with Dean Guiars had come to an end when the CEO of Dean Guitars told me that Dime has been dead for 16 years, and then could not make the money they once did…and then continued on to tell me I should go somewhere else.”

“Well…we will!” Haney says.

The lawsuit accuses Dean of continuing to use photographs of Dimebag, as well as his name and likeness, to continuing to allegedly promote and sell guitars and merchandise despite the expiration of its endorsement deal. Haney also accuses Dean CEO Evan Rubinson of being “incredibly disrespectful and often times belligerent to the legacy” of Dimebag.

“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,” Haney writes. “It is with absolute conviction that we say that this can no longer happen whilst continuing to partner with Dean Guitars.”

Dean Guitars has not yet publicly addressed the lawsuit.

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