Tom Petty's relatives claim auctioneer selling 'clearly stolen' items
Tom Petty’s relatives claim Boston auction house is selling items of the late rocker’s that were ‘clearly stolen’ … as seller says it has launched probe
Relatives of Tom Petty have accused a Boston-based auction house of selling clothes and other artifacts of memorabilia that were stolen from the late rock legend.
Reps for the family of the Free Fallin’ singer issued a statement to TMZ stating their position on the matter Saturday, making clear they’re gearing up for a potential legal battle against the seller.
‘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,’ the family of the I Won’t Back Down artist told the outlet in a statement.
The family, who sold Petty’s Malibu home earlier this year, told the outlet that RR Auction ‘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 auction house said that the artifacts – including coats, shirts, hats and other mementoes – were obtained from the American Girl vocalist’s one-time residence in Encino, California, the outlet previously reported.
Details: Relatives of Tom Petty have accused a Boston-based auction house of selling clothes and other artifacts of memorabilia that were stolen from the late rock legend. The late rock legend was pictured in August of 2017, less than two months before his death
The family of the Mary Jane’s Last Dance performer said they were ‘pursuing swift legal action’ against the auction house, and are focused on having the items returned to them.
Relatives of Petty told the outlet that ‘based on prior knowledge, staff observations and documentation,’ they are of the belief the items had been ‘outright stolen from a secured archive.’
The items are currently being auctioned in a lot that will end June 22.
Petty’s family has requested that potential bidders ‘refrain from participating in this auction until the matter is settled to avoid getting further involved in this legal action.’
The family added, ‘These items have irreplaceable sentimental and educational value for the family and legacy of Tom Petty and we look forward to their safe return.’
In response, Mark S. Zaid, a lawyer from the auction house, told TMZ Wednesday that ‘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.’
Zaid said that the auction house takes ‘theft allegations such as these very seriously,’ and has never ‘failed to reach an amicable resolution when on the rare occasion items presented by our consignors turned out to have provenance concerns.’
Zaid added that the auction house will ‘continue to diligently investigate this situation and have requested’ Petty’s family cooperate with the probe.
An XL denim jacket from Aviatic was drawing bids up to $1,000 as of Wednesday
A black-and-white striped satin jacket Petty wore in the late 1970s is among the items being auctioned off, with the bidding at $5,724 as of Wednesday
He said RR Auctions ‘also take seriously any defamatory allegations against our company, which has developed a stellar reputation over the last half-a-century of auctions.’
Petty, who received an induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, sold millions of albums via his efforts as a solo artist, with the Heartbreakers and as a member of the Traveling Wilburys.
He died October 2, 2017 as result of an accidental drug overdose as result of a mix of multiple medications, including fentanyl and oxycodone.
His family noted that he had been dealing with pain from a hip fracture and knee problems that persisted through his touring.
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