Legendary musician Tom Petty was found unconscious after having gone into full cardiac arrest, according to TMZ and, when found, Petty was reported to be not breathing. Even so, EMTs who rushed to his home were said to be able to get a pulse. He was later reported to be put on life support and as “clinging to life”, but sadly, the musician has died. He leaves behind many friends and family members who have been worrying about his fate. Get to know more about Petty’s family and his first wife Jane Benyo.
1. Benyo Was Petty’s Childhood Girlfriend
Petty and Benyo began dating when as teenagers. Benyo reportedly told singer Stevie Nicks that she met Petty at “the age of seventeen,” but Nicks misheard her, which led to Nicks’ song “Edge of Seventeen”, according to Song Facts. Nicks had trouble understanding Benyo because of her strong southern accent and she told Benyo:
It’s got to be ‘edge.’ ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ is perfect. I’m going to write a song.
The couple was married for 22 years from March 31, 1974 to September 9, 1996.
2. Today, Petty Is Married to Current Wife Dana York Epperson
In 2001, five years after the end of his first marriage, Petty married wife Dana York Epperson, who he is still married to today. But, the couple first met five years BEFORE his divorce, when Epperson attended one of his concerts.
3. The Ex Couple Has Two Children Together
Benyo and Petty had two children together. Daughter Adria is a film director and AnnaKim Violette is an artist.
Tom Petty also has a stepson named Dylan.
4. Drugs and Alcohol Were Reported to Be a Part of Benyo’s Marriage to Petty
FrostsNow reports that Petty suffered from heroine addiction following the demise of his marriage to Benyo. And, during the marriage, Benyo is said to have had issues with drugs and alcohol. FrostsNow previously wrote:
One day, Tom arrived home from recordings session to find his wife Jane passed out in the hallway and later found out that it was not only from alcohol. Tom was living a life of a typical rock star and was also involved in drug addiction. All these issues left the family life pretty stressful and left his family life decimated.
Petty’s book “Petty: The Biography” was the first time that he spoke about drugs in his life.
5. Daughter Adria Petty Called Benyo Abusive
Adria Petty, according to FrostsNow, stated in a biography about her father Tom Petty that her mother’s insecurities led her to become cruel and verbally abusive. However, Adria said Benyo did love her father.