Hendrix Estate Claim Denied to Illegitimate Daughter

Paternity test never even conducted

Jimi Hendrix
Jan Persson/Redferns
Jimi Hendrix backstage in Copenhagen.
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NEW YORK – A local judge has ruled that the alleged four-year-old illegitimate daughter of Jimi Hendrix cannot share in Jimi's estate of more than $400,000, which will go entirely to Jimi's father, James A. Hendrix of Seattle, Washington.

The little girl, Tamika Laurice James, was born on February 11th, 1967 to Diane Carpenter, who in 1966 was living with Jimi in California and then New York. Diane was 16 years old at the time and Jimi was 23. After she became pregnant and unable to travel with Jimi and his band, she returned to her home in Minneapolis, where she gave birth to Tamika. The child was named "James" after Jimi's stage name of the time – Jimi James.

About six months after the birth of her child, Diane reportedly returned to New York to see Jimi and tell him about his daughter but he was in England.

In May and June of 1970, lawyers for Jimi and Diane were arranging for blood tests to establish Jimi's paternity of the child. He did not acknowledge that he fathered Tamika, nor did he vigorously deny it. Jimi's busy schedule prevented him from arranging the blood test since Diane's lawyers insisted upon rigorous controls to prevent any subterfuge. The lawyers were becoming very insistent and Henry Steingarten, Jimi's lawyer, was to meet with Jimi in London on September 15th, 1970, to discuss the importance of the matter and try to get Jimi to appear for the test. Steingarten did meet Jimi in London but refuses to disclose the results of the meeting.

Hendrix died in London on September 18th, 1970, and the proper blood test was never made.

Had Jimi's paternity of Tamika been established, she would have received the entire estate. However, court proceedings to establish this fact were not instituted within the time specified by New York law.

This story is from the February 3rd, 1972 issue of Rolling Stone.

From The Archives Issue 101: February 3, 1972