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Dean Guitars CEO Accuses Rita Haney of Trying to Incite "Death Threats" with "Slanderous" Comments in Dimebag Lawsuit

This Dimebag Darrell estate vs. Dean Guitars lawsuit is sure to get really messy.  Yesterday, the estate of Dimebag Darrell, which is controlled by Rita Haney, his longtime companion, announced they were leaving Dean Guitars and suing the company. The CEO of Dean has now called these statements "slanderous."

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The suit alleges that after Dimebag's murder, the executors of his estate became his brother, Vinnie Paul, and his father, Jerry Abbott. The suit claims that Dean’s late CEO, Elliot Rubinson, manipulated the surviving Abbots to "water down" the amount that would be owed to Dime's estate.

The suit goes on to claim that the current Dean CEO, Evan Rubinson (Elliot's son), is “incredibly disrespectful and often times belligerent" to Dimebag's legacy, and has failed to make payments to the estate for contracted use of Dime's likeness. The suit claims Dean attempted to “register the trademark for Razorback and the Razorback guitar design, both of which were the sole property of Abbott,” according to the original agreement with Dean. Dean also failed to provide the estate with models of endorsed guitars.

Rubinson was tagged by a fan who said "if the CEO actually told Rita: "Dime has been dead for 16 years," he might want to walk that back, bad comment in a dialogue to the girlfriend of the guy being discussed and his legacy, Pantera were A leaguers."

Rubinson responded "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)."

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Yesterday, Rubinson released a more detailed statement saying “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.”

The full statement by Rita Haney reads:

"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 www.dimebagdarrell.com. 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.

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"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.

“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.”

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