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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 | Back issues
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Fight Over Hendrix’s Guitar Reaches Court

LOS ANGELES (CN) - An intellectual property firm asked a judge to rule on a legal dispute between Jimi Hendrix's stepsister and a former bassist for Earth, Wind and Fire over ownership of Hendrix's Black Widow acoustic guitar.

Experience Hendrix sued Janie Hendrix's ex-husband Sheldon Reynolds on Monday in Federal Court.

It accuses Reynolds of stealing the guitar and passing it to co-defendant Brian Patterson, who allegedly tried to sell the guitar at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills.

Janie Hendrix is CEO of Experience Hendrix but is not a party to the lawsuit.

Her company holds her late brother's intellectual property rights and assets.

Hendrix's father, Al Hendrix, initially was sole heir to the guitarist's estate but assigned all rights to Experience Hendrix before he died in 2002, according to the complaint.

Though Janie met Hendrix only a few times, a Washington state judge ruled in 2004 that she was entitled to the guitarist's $80 million estate after a legal challenge from Hendrix's brother Leon, the Seattle Times reported at the time.

In this latest legal battle, Experience Hendrix claims it believed it still had the guitar in its possession until earlier this year, when Julien's informed it that Patterson was trying to auction the guitar.

According to the lawsuit, Reynolds claims he received the instrument as part of divorce settlement with Janie Hendrix - but also has claimed that Janie's 14-year-old-son told him to take a pile of guitars when he went to her house to collect his belongings.

"Neither story is true, as the Black Widow is owned by plaintiff, and has never been the property of Janie Hendrix," the lawsuit states.

Experience Hendrix wants the guitar, punitive damages for conversion, slander of title and order enjoining Reynolds and Patterson from selling the guitar.

Experience Hendrix is represented by Edwin F. McPherson with McPherson Rane.

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