Rita made the startling statement in the March issue of TG's US sister mag Guitar World: "If Phil Anselmo hadn't quit Pantera, Darrell wouldn't have been playing in that shithole where that guy could get to him."
In a candid interview almost three years to the day after Dime's death, the former Pantera guitarist's girlfriend of 20 years gives a revealing look inside the heart and soul of metal's lost cowboy from hell and offers some lacerating criticism of his former bandmates Anselmo and Damageman singer Pat Lachman.
She unleashes her verdict on Phil Anselmo and how his drug addictions and actions ultimately led to Dimebag's murder in Columbus, Ohio, at the hands of deranged gunman Nathan Gale.
"The bottom line is Phil's actions led to what happened. The guy wouldn't have been after Vinnie and Darrell if Pantera had not broken up. It was all due to Phil's stupid, stupid actions."
With regards to Dime's final days on the road with Damageplan she says: "Darrell told me that he didn't know what to do about [vocalist] Pat Lachman. Pat said that he didn't want to sing any Pantera songs, but he knew what he was getting into when he joined the band. It got to the point where Darrell blew up completely. He said, 'Look, if I want a dickhead for a singer I'll call up Phil Anselmo! I can at least make money with that motherfucker.'"
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