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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 (opens in new tab). 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 (opens in new tab) which came after a public memorial (opens in new tab) to the late drummer in Dallas.

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.