Monika Danneman, a former girlfriend of rock legend Jimi Hendrix, who only three days ago was found guilty of contempt in the High Court, was yesterday found dead in a fume-filled car near her Sussex home.
The apparent suicide of the German-born artist at her home in Seaford, Sussex, follows the court action brought by Kathy Etchingham, another of the rock star's girlfriends. Police discovered the body just before 10am.
It was in Miss Danneman's London flat that Hendrix was found dead from a drugs overdose in 1970. They met in Germany in 1968 when Miss Danneman, then an iceskating champion, saw Hendrix at a concert.
The court case was the latest episode in a long running feud between the two women. It was brought because Miss Danneman, 48, had breached an undertaking that she would never repeat an allegation that Mrs Etchingham was an "inveterate liar" about her life and relationship with Hendrix. Mrs Etchingham, 49, now a doctor's wife with two teenage sons, had a 30- month relationship with Hendrix in the 1960s.
Mr Justice French said no public interest would be served by committing Miss Danneman to prison for contempt, or by making her pay damages after hearing she was in poor health and had little money. The judge was given medical reports about the state of both her physical and mental health.
In 1995 Miss Danneman published The Inner World of Jimi Hendrix, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Hendrix's death. She claimed she had been engaged to Hendrix, though this was disputed.
Miss Danneman had lost an earlier libel action when she was ordered to pay pounds 1,000 damages and costs after libelling Mrs Etchingham. She repeated the allegations in the book.
Worshipping Hendrix, page 3