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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 September, 2004, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
Hendrix brother loses royalty row
Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix died in London in 1970
A US judge has ruled Jimi Hendrix's brother cannot share in the royalties from the rock legend's posthumous releases and merchandise.

The judge, sitting in Seattle, upheld the will of Jimi's father Al Hendrix, who inherited his son's rights in 1970.

Brother Leon says he was unfairly written out of the will at the behest of his stepsister Janie Hendrix.

But Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ramsdell said: "Janie was the family member Al trusted the most."

Leon's battles with drug addiction, his failure to complete a treatment programme, his unwillingness to work and his continual demands for money were the major reason Al Hendrix cut his younger son from his will, Judge Ramsdell added.

Janie Hendrix runs the estate, Experience Hendrix LLC, along with Jimi's cousin Robert.

A 1996 version of Al Hendrix's will would have seen Leon Hendrix get 24% of the estate, with Janie Hendrix receiving 38%.

But it was re-written the following year, excluding Leon.

Al Hendrix died in 2002.


Jimi Hendrix had released just three albums before his death aged 27. But he left behind an extensive catalogue of unreleased material. The estate is now said to be worth $80 million.

Janie Hendrix's lawyer, John Wilson, said Al Hendrix decided on his own to write his son out of the will.

But Leon's lawyer said his father was infirm in his old age and could not comprehend even simple legal issues.

Leon Hendrix criticised the decision outside court.

"This is the Hendrixes. This is the family right here, you know, bloodline," he said.

Janie is not a blood relative of Jimi - she was adopted by Al Hendrix and her mother, June Jinka, in 1968.

No decision has yet been made on a possible appeal.

"The judge has upheld my dad's will and the way it was written," a tearful Janie Hendrix told reporters.

"I had a great partnership with my dad, and now it's time to heal."

"Janie and Robert are happy that her father's wishes were honoured, but she feels sad that Leon and her father were estranged," said Bob Merlis of Experience Hendrix LLC.

"They are a responsible company that tries to honour the legacy of Jimi Hendrix and they want to keep doing their job."

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