This article is reprinted from Star magazine, October 29, 1996, page 35
Petty --- who's riding high on the charts again with his new album She's the One, the sound track from the hit movie --- filed for divorce on September 9 from wife of 21 years, Linda, citing irreconcilable differences.
Now he's back with Fleetwood Mac's Stevie --- and they're finding love is definitely better the second time around. The pair were first linked in the early '80s, shortly after Nicks divorced her second husband.
Now, Petty has been separated from his wife Linda since January and, according to friends, he and Stevie have been burning up the phone lines ever since and getting together whenever they can. "Stevie and Tom collaborated on several of her solo albums and that's how they became so close," says a source.
Now, more than 10 years on, Nicks has slimmed down and sobered up and the rock couple is making beautiful music together. "Stevie has lost a lot of weight and she looks really terrific," says a source. "She's feeling good about herself and it shows."
According to sources close to the couple, one of the reasons Nicks and Petty have rekindled their love is their similar life experiences. "Both Tom and Stevie have been in the music business forever so they know the perils of being on the road constantly," says a source. And Nicks and Petty have something else in common as well --- they've both kicked longtime addictions.
"Stevie had been in rehab for alcohol and cocaine addiction and Tom kicked his booze habit in 1987 for good."
The rocking duo recently went public with their relationship at a Hollywood bash close pal Ringo Starr threw for his wife Barbara Bach's birthday.
Phoenix-born Nicks has even put her Paradise Valley, Ariz., home up for sale and decided to settle in a spacious Los Angeles mansion where she can be closer to her rocker lover.
Petty's marital split and his romantic reunion with blonde-haired beauty Nicks comes as no surprise to those who know the couple. "Tom and his wife Jane had a really tough go of it. They've separated a couple of times over the years but they always got it back together. I guess that things just couldn't be repaired this time." Petty himself is brutally honest when he talks about the state of his 21-year marriage (the couple have two daughters, Adria, 21, and 14-year-old Anna).
"We have taken some shrapnel," he said. "We do walk with a slight limp."