Petty’s estate says personal items were stolen
The family of Tom Petty is pursuing swift legal action against RR Auction house which claims to have acquired personal property of Petty’s that the entire family firmly believes has been “outright stolen from a secured archive based on prior knowledge, staff observations and documentation.” The family is pursuing all available legal action for the immediate return of these items, and they ask that fans and collectors refrain from participating in this auction until the matter is settled to avoid getting further involved in this legal action.
“We believe RR Auction, headquartered in Boston, is offering stolen Tom Petty memorabilia with a completely false provenance inaccurate to fact and in complete denial of clear evidence they have been presented,” a statement on Petty’s socials reads. “They will not disclose the cosigner who has provided these items or how they were acquired. But they are clearly stolen, there is no other word for it.”
The missing articles include the personal items and items from the professional career of their beloved Tom Petty — all with an established provenance in the Petty family’s secure storage — which include jackets, hats, vests, boots, shirts, shoes, autographed items and recent exclusive limited editions easily traced back to family members and more.
“These items have irreplaceable sentimental and educational value for the family and legacy of Tom Petty and we look forward to their safe return,” they add.
An attorney for RR Auction tells TMZ they are cooperating with the family, but calls the threats of litigation “hostile.”
“RR Auction has been cooperating with the Petty family from the moment they reached out to us just days ago and will happily continue to do so without unnecessary hostile threats of litigation. We take theft allegations such as these very seriously. Indeed, in the years I have represented the company, we have never failed to reach an amicable resolution when on the rare occasion items presented by our consignors turned out to have provenance concerns,” RR attorney Mark Zaid says.
He continues, “We continue to diligently investigate this situation and have requested the Petty family to cooperate with us as well. That said, we also take seriously any defamatory allegations against our company, which has developed a stellar reputation over the last half-a-century of auctions, many of which are often in the news.”
As of this writing, the online auction is slated to end on June 22nd. Items already have received multiple bids, so it’s unclear how it could end.