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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 June, 2004, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
Hendrix family battle for fortune
Jimi Hendrix
Hendrix's estate is worth a reported $80m (44m), plus annual sales
Relatives of rock musician Jimi Hendrix have gone to court in the latest of a series of legal battles for control of his posthumous releases and royalties.

The guitarist's brother Leon, 56, claims he has been unfairly denied his share of an $80m (44m) family fortune.

The case centres on the will of Jimi's late father Al Hendrix, who inherited the rights to his son's music in 1970.

Leon claims he was unfairly written out of his father's will by his step-sister Janie, 43, who runs the family company.

Money from posthumous releases, merchandise and royalties is managed by Janie and her cousin Robert Hendrix through the business Experience Hendrix LLC.

Leon and other relatives are suing to have Janie ousted from the company and Al's will from his death in 2002 amended.

A 1996 version of the will had left Leon 24% of the family fortune, 38% to Janie and the remainder to other beneficiaries.

This is about greed
Robert Curran, lawyer for Leon Hendrix

It was rewritten in 1997 to exclude Leon, who Janie claims had allowed drink and drug problems to spoil his relationship with his father.

First class travel

Lawyers for Leon and other Hendrix family members told King County Courthouse in Seattle of alleged excessive spending by Janie.

Robert Curran, acting for Leon, said: "This is about greed. Janie has lived a very, very good life. She travels the world first class.

"Her family goes with her. They get picked up in limos. They stay in first class hotels."

A lawyer for Janie said she had repaid some of those expenses.

He said Al's will had been clear he did not want Leon, who was born six years after Jimi, or his children to be involved in the company or profit from it.

But Leon's lawyer argued Al had been infirm, and under Janie's influence, when he wrote his son out of his will.

Jimi had released only three albums when he died in London aged 27, but left an extensive catalogue of unreleased material which his estate also manages.

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