Tom Petty’s ex-wife has been revealed as the buyer of the late rock star’s childhood home after squaring off with a passionate superfan.
Jane Benyo Petty has been revealed by the Gainsville Sun as the mystery buyer of the Gainesville, Florida, property where the rock icon grew up. Kevin Beauchamp, a California real estate agent and self-proclaimed Petty superfan, had put in an offer on the property and even tried to make a down payment but was ultimately outbid by Benyo Petty. In the end, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home sold to Benyo Petty for $175,000.
The house was built in 1952 and sits at 1715 NE 6th Terrace in Gainsville. It has been remodeled many times but still has pink tile from the time that Petty spent living in the house with his family as a child. But other than the Petty connection, it is a modest residence. Its actual value has been estimated to be somewhere between $112,000 and $160,000.
But it clearly has special significance for Benyo Petty — she lived in the same neighborhood when she met Petty in the early 1970s. They married in 1974 but, after two children and a tumultuous marriage, divorced in 1996. Petty, who is best known for hits like “American Girl” and “Free Fallin’,” sold more than 80 million records but died of an accidental drug overdose at age 66 in 2017.
“When I went to the house, it had changed, and it didn’t look the same, but I thought we should have it in the family,” Benyo Petty, who visited the house for the annual Tom Petty Birthday Bash celebration last fall, told the Gainsville Sun. She plans to eventually pass it on to Petty’s grandchildren.