Phil Anselmo Forgives Dimebag’s Girlfriend for Salacious Comments
Since the death of Dimebag Darrell Abbott five years ago, there’s been a lot of bad blood between ex-Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo and pretty much everyone else associated with the Pantera camp. In published interviews, Anselmo has traded barbs back and forth with Dime’s brother, former Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott and Dime’s girlfriend, Rita Haney, and a lot of hurtful, angry words have been exchanged. Now Anselmo has commented on the friction that’s existed between both sides since Dime’s passing and recalls the moment he heard the late guitarist was killed.
“I was laying down upstairs in my house,” Anselmo says. “Matter of fact, I was sleeping. The phone rang and I picked it up, and I didn’t remember for about two years who had told me the news. And it ended up … I remembered and found out years later that it was Rex [Brown, former Pantera bassist] … two years later … and I guess it was numbing, and yes, I was laying down upstairs… I was in a lot of pain and then the ultimate pain dropped the f—ing hammer on the world.”
Then Anselmo was asked about comments Haney’s made, essentially blaming him and the demise of Pantera for Dime’s untimely passing at the hands of crazed gunman Nathan Gale, who was a fan of the band. He also talked about a reunion he and Haney had in London.
“Anything that’s been said before, once again, you’re in pain, in chronic pain, and pain can come in all sorts — pain to the mind, pain to the soul, pain to the heart,” says Anselmo. “Rita’s made it her life to keep his memory alive and she’s not shy about admitting that, so I forgive her for any pointed remarks like that. You know, that’s not a sensible thing to say, necessarily, but it harks back, for me, to when I was hurting so much and all of my anger was focused on the wrong things, focused on the wrong people, aimed at the wrong people.
“I think I just became a fantastic target because I’m the most visible target, but since we’ve talked, I think there’s a common peace,” Phil continues. “She knows, and I know, that there’s love between her and I as friends. There’s a different kind of closeness. When you play in a band with someone for so long, it’s a marriage. You wake up next to these people, brush your teeth in the same sink, s— in the same pool … you live with these people every day, chained at the ankle, so she understands that as well, I believe. And I understand her, and it was a meeting of peace. And these angry articles, these angry words everyone has read, just let them know and let it be known that it’s a shame that our anger has to be so public, because anger is but a moment and it will pass. And there’s other things that do last a lifetime, and that’s the healing part, and it’s so much better and so much more productive to heal together, to heal on the same side, instead of against one another, and I think we’ve come to that point and it’s a much better point to be at.”
Anselmo, who was banned from attending Dimebag Darrell’s funeral, says he regrets not attending the service, and “sometimes, I feel like I should’ve just walked right in, because I don’t think a damn person would’ve done a damn thing.”
He also regrets having a strained relationship with Vinnie Paul and the rest of Dime’s camp, “because I love all of them. Because I’m 41 years old and I think back to those days and those were my people. Those were my people and I was theirs. There’s love in my heart. That’s all I can say.” He also expressed regret over giving magazine interviews, and says many of his words were taken out of context when printed in black and white.