Siblings fight over Jimi Hendrix image

July 12, 2008 at 7:27 PM

SEATTLE, July 12 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Seattle must decide whether Jimi Hendrix's brother can use the 1960s rock star's image to market a brand of vodka.

The dispute between Leon Hendrix and his adoptive sister, Janie, is the latest skirmish in a long family feud over control of Jimi Hendrix's estate, The Seattle Times reported.

Hendrix died in London in 1970, leaving no will, and his father, Al Hendrix, inherited his estate. Janie Hendrix has controlled the estate since the elder Hendrix died in 2002.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly heard arguments Friday on whether the picture of Jimi Hendrix on Hendrix Electric Vodka is too similar to the image of the singer used by the Hendrix estate to market other products. Janie Hendrix's attorneys also argued that using Jimi's name to sell vodka is offensive, given that his death was caused by mixing alcohol and drugs.

"She cheated me out of my inheritance," Leon Hendrix said later. "She blackmailed my father. I had to go find another business, another way to make money to send my kids to college."

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