Relatives of late guitar legend Jimi Hendrix returned to court yesterday (June 28) to begin another legal fight over which family members should receive money from the musician's posthumous releases,
Relatives of late guitar legend Jimi Hendrix returned to court yesterday (June 28) to begin another legal fight over which family members should receive money from the musician's posthumous releases, royalties and merchandise.
The case, the latest of several that have entangled the Hendrix estate in the last decade, concerns the last will of Jimi's father, Al Hendrix, who inherited the rights to Jimi's music when the rock star died in 1970.
Jimi's brother, Leon, says he was unfairly written out of the will at the behest of his stepsister, Janie Hendrix, who runs the company in charge of the estate, Experience Hendrix LLC, with Jimi's cousin, Robert Hendrix.
Leon Hendrix, 56, is suing to have Janie ousted as the company's boss and to have his father's will revised to include him. Al Hendrix died in 2002 at age 82.
A 1996 version of Al Hendrix's will would have directed 24% of the estate to Leon Hendrix, 38% to his stepsister and the balance to other beneficiaries. But it was rewritten in 1997 to exclude Leon.
Janie Hendrix's lawyer insisted that Al Hendrix decided on his own to write Leon out of the will, but Leon's lawyer said the father was infirm in his old age and could not comprehend even simple legal issues.
Jimi Hendrix had released just three albums before he died at age 27, but he had an extensive catalog of unreleased tracks. For about two decades after his death, his estate was run by a California attorney who sold many of the copyrights to other companies.
At the urging of Janie Hendrix, Al Hendrix sued the lawyer in the early 1990s to regain the rights he had sold. That case was settled but left the company in debt.
According to Janie Hendrix, her father did not want money paid to the beneficiaries listed in his will until the debt was paid off. That is expected to happen in 2010.
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