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Hendrix Brother Loses Bid

Judge denies Leon control of Jimi's estate

September 27, 2004 12:00 AM ET
A Seattle judge has denied a bid by Leon Hendrix, the half-brother of Jimi Hendrix, to overturn his father's will and gain control of twenty-five percent of the late rock legend's estate. The decision by Judge Jeffrey M. Ramsdell of King County Superior Court keeps control of the $80 million-dollar estate in the hands of Jimi's stepsister Janie Hendrix.

Ramsdell cited Leon's issues with drug use, constant demands for money and refusal to work as prime factors in Jimi and Leon's father Al Hendrix's decision to largely omit Leon from his will. Al inherited the estate when Jimi died of drug-related complications in 1970 at the age of twenty-seven; Al died in 2002 at the age of eighty-two.

"I'm very thankful and grateful to the judge," says Janie, Al's adopted daughter and president of Experience Hendrix, the company that controls Jimi Hendrix's music and image. "He was able to uphold my dad's wishes. But then, on the other side, I wish Leon was able to reconcile those differences with my dad while he was alive."

It wasn't a complete victory for Janie, however, as Ramsdell ruled that she and cousin Robert Hendrix had mismanaged the estate and failed to make payments to ten family members named as beneficiaries in Al Hendrix's will. The judge also made Janie and Robert liable for their court costs.

Leon did not respond to a request for comment by press time, but in the past he's blamed Janie for his limited inheritance from his father: one gold record.

"He was my dad," Leon told Rolling Stone last year. "And he never said or thought any different until Janie put that into his head."

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