Dimebag’s ex Rita Haney pays emotional tribute to Vinnie Paul

(Image credit: Scott Legato - Getty)

Rita Haney, the longterm girlfriend of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott has paid tribute to his brother Vinnie Paul.

The drummer, who played with Pantera, Damageplan and Hellyeah, died last month at the age of 54. He was laid to rest beside his mother Carolyn and Dimebag at the Moore Memorial Gardens cemetery in Arlington, Texas.

Now Haney has broken her silence on Vinnie’s death in a post on Instagram.

She says: “I wish I could put into words what Dime and Vinnie mean to me, but the emotions are so much more powerful than anything that I could ever say.

“I love you two so differently but yet both so dearly. You both carried me through your lives and gave me your all. I will always love you both and I will always fly your flag strong and proud.

“Darrell has always been my heart through thick and thin even when I didn’t know, even when I made mistakes, he forgave me 100%. 

“Vinnie has always been my ‘big bro Riggs’ for 43 years through thick and thin even when I wasn’t sure – and to know in the end here in this world, that Riggs still felt the same.”

Haney adds: “The last time we saw each other in Tampa, back in April, I told you that I knew you loved me because Darrell loved me, but that sometimes you just loved me.

“You gave me a big ol’ Vinnie Paul style hug and said, ‘You’re right. I do love you.’ We hugged again. I can never thank you two enough for the beautiful life you both have given me and still made sure to give me. I miss you so. My Abbott brothers. Always stronger than all.”

Earlier this month, Vinnie’s Pantera bandmate Rex Brown wrote a heartfelt tribute to his friend which came after a public memorial to the late drummer in Dallas.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.