Hendrix Family Suing Each Other Over Vodka

A vodka named after JIMI HENDRIX has sparked a lawsuit between two members of the late guitar legend's family. JANIE HENDRIX, the adopted stepdaughter of Jimi's father AL, is suing the company that makes Hendrix Electric vodka for trademark infringement, false advertising and other unlawful acts. According to Washington newspaper the Seattle Times, Janie calls marketing the vodka in Hendrix's name a "sick joke". Meanwhile, Hendrix's brother LEON is actually a part owner of Electric Hendrix LLC, the company that makes the vodka. The company was founded by Seattle businessman CRAIG DIEFFENBACH, who funded Leon's legal battle to gain control of Hendrix's estimated $80 million (GBP41 million) estate away from Janie. Al Hendrix had given Janie control over his estate in 2002, after leaving Leon and several other family members out of his will. Jimi Hendrix died in 1970.


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fmarseille's picture

fmarseille

In response to a lawsuit which seeks to prevent the marketing and sale of Hendrix Electric Vodka, the company and individuals responsible for the product, Electric Hendrix, LLC, Jimi Hendrix’s brother and company co-owner Leon Hendrix and company co-owner and CEO Craig Dieffenbach, have announced their intention not only to fight the suit, but to assert counterclaims for damages caused by the actions and public statements of Janie Hendrix, the adopted stepsister of Jimi and Leon Hendrix, and the two companies she controls, Experience Hendrix, LLC and Authentic Hendrix, LLC.According to Electric Hendrix, the lawsuit by Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix has been assigned to the same judge, United States District Court Judge Thomas S. Zilly, who ruled against Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix and in favor of the rights of Leon Hendrix and Craig Dieffenbach on similar claims in a 2003 lawsuit. According to Electric Hendrix, an April 15, 2005 ruling by Judge Zilly in that case gives it the right to market Hendrix Electric Vodka and other goods and services featuring the name and likeness of Jimi Hendrix. Although that decision has been appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Electric Hendrix declared that it is confident the Ninth Circuit will uphold Judge Zilly’s ruling. The April 15, 2005 decision can be found at http://www.houseofhendrix.com/pressarticles/hendrixdecision.pdf. Regarding the new lawsuit, Electric Hendrix stated its belief that when the judicial process plays out, the court will again rule that Janie Hendrix, Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix do not have any exclusive rights to control the name or likeness of Jimi Hendrix, and that Janie Hendrix and her companies cannot prevent Electric Hendrix from marketing Hendrix Electric Vodka or any of other product featuring Jimi Hendrix, where Electric Hendrix is first in the marketplace. Electric Hendrix’s CEO, Craig Dieffenbach, made it clear that his company has no intention of slowing down. According to Dieffenbach, Electric Hendrix plans to fight the lawsuit and to sue for damages caused by “the gross misrepresentations Janie Hendrix, Authentic Hendrix and Experience Hendrix continue to make” about their ability to control the use of Jimi Hendrix’s name and likeness.Dieffenbach also notes that because Authentic Hendrix and Experience Hendrix lost the right to say they had exclusive control over Jimi’s name and likeness when Judge Zilly ruled against them in 2005, the fact that they have continued to make public statements that they control it, and have continued to enter into contracts while making those claims, is “flat-out wrong, potentially fraudulent, and causes considerable damage, all of which will definitely be addressed in court.”Responding to the statement by Janie Hendrix that Hendrix Electric Vodka is a “sick joke,” Dieffenbach responded that “the only sick joke in all of this is Janie’s belief that she can remake Jimi into something he wasn’t and that she can continue to mislead the public.” ##
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fmarseille's picture

fmarseille

March 7, 2007, Seattle, WA: In response to a lawsuit which seeks to prevent the marketing and sale of Hendrix Electric Vodka, the company and individuals responsible for the product, Electric Hendrix, LLC, Jimi Hendrix’s brother and company co-owner Leon Hendrix and company co-owner and CEO Craig Dieffenbach, have announced their intention not only to fight the suit, but to assert counterclaims for damages caused by the actions and public statements of Janie Hendrix, the adopted stepsister of Jimi and Leon Hendrix, and the two companies she controls, Experience Hendrix, LLC and Authentic Hendrix, LLC. According to Electric Hendrix, the lawsuit by Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix has been assigned to the same judge, United States District Court Judge Thomas S. Zilly, who ruled against Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix and in favor of the rights of Leon Hendrix and Craig Dieffenbach on similar claims in a 2003 lawsuit. According to Electric Hendrix, an April 15, 2005 ruling by Judge Zilly in that case gives it the right to market Hendrix Electric Vodka and other goods and services featuring the name and likeness of Jimi Hendrix. Although that decision has been appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Electric Hendrix declared that it is confident the Ninth Circuit will uphold Judge Zilly’s ruling. The April 15, 2005 decision can be found at http://www.houseofhendrix.com/pressarticles/hendrixdecision.pdf. Regarding the new lawsuit, Electric Hendrix stated its belief that when the judicial process plays out, the court will again rule that Janie Hendrix, Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix do not have any exclusive rights to control the name or likeness of Jimi Hendrix, and that Janie Hendrix and her companies cannot prevent Electric Hendrix from marketing Hendrix Electric Vodka or any of other product featuring Jimi Hendrix, where Electric Hendrix is first in the marketplace. Electric Hendrix’s CEO, Craig Dieffenbach, made it clear that his company has no intention of slowing down. According to Dieffenbach, Electric Hendrix plans to fight the lawsuit and to sue for damages caused by “the gross misrepresentations Janie Hendrix, Authentic Hendrix and Experience Hendrix continue to make” about their ability to control the use of Jimi Hendrix’s name and likeness. Dieffenbach also notes that because Authentic Hendrix and Experience Hendrix lost the right to say they had exclusive control over Jimi’s name and likeness when Judge Zilly ruled against them in 2005, the fact that they have continued to make public statements that they control it, and have continued to enter into contracts while making those claims, is “flat-out wrong, potentially fraudulent, and causes considerable damage, all of which will definitely be addressed in court.” Responding to the statement by Janie Hendrix that Hendrix Electric Vodka is a “sick joke,” Dieffenbach responded that “the only sick joke in all of this is Janie’s belief that she can remake Jimi into something he wasn’t and that she can continue to mislead the public.” ##
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