Hendrix women do battle

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The Independent Online

Two former girlfriends of the legendary Sixties guitarist Jimi Hendrix faced each other in the High Court yesterday in a dispute over their memories of the star, who died 26 years ago.

Kathy Etchingham, who split with Hendrix in 1969 after a 30 month relationship, wants Mr Justice French to take action against her former rival, German- born Monika Danneman, for alleged contempt of court.

Miss Etchingham, 49, has moved far from the psychedelic days of the late 1960s. Nowmarried to a doctor and a mother of two, she claims Miss Danneman, 48, is in breach of a legal promise she gave in 1992 not to repeat an allegation that she was an "inveterate liar". The undertaking was part of the settlement of a libel action over Miss Danneman's memoirs, The Inner Life of Jimi Hendrix, published in 1991.

The allegations of Miss Etchingham's relationship with Hendrix included claims that she would cheat and lie for money and stole the rock star's belongings. The claims resurfaced last year with the publication of Miss Danneman's book to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Hendrix's death.

The dispute first took off in the 1970s when Etchingham told the News of the World Hendrix was a "violent, hard drinking, drugged-up sex maniac". Both women claim to keep alive the true flame of the Hendrix legend.

Miss Danneman, who claims she was engaged to Hendrix and was sharing a flat with him in Notting Hill Gate when he died of an overdose of sleeping tablets in September 1970, has spent the past two decades paying homage to his memory.

Mr Justice French spent time yesterday astutely poring over the glossy coffee table Hendrix picture book for evidence.

The hearing continues.