British press reports on the court case, and following Monika Dannemann's suicide
Happier times for Monika
 

Daily Record 06 Apr 96 Suicide riddle of Hendrix girl monikacourt1.jpg (29032 bytes)
By STEVE DENNIS

The former girlfriend of rock legend Jimi Hendrix was found dead at her luxury home yesterday. Monika Danneman's death came the day after she lost a bitter High Court case brought by Kathy Etchingham, who was also Hendrix's lover. Monika, 50, was found in a fume-filled Mercedes sports car at her luxury home in Seaford, Sussex.

She had lived a quiet life in the seaside town and shunned the limelight after Hendrix died. But she was dogged by controversial allegations that she delayed calling an ambulance after the 28-year-old guitarist passed out in a flat in Notting Hill, London, in 1970. Artist and former skating champ Monika always denied the claims. Speaking last year after a reopened investigation cleared her, she said: 'It hurts a lot that you have to go back into the past and remember every detail. 'I knew the investigation would vindicate me because there was no other way. But it is a strain, especially when it is a person you love.' 'Kathy Etchingham was trying to put the finger on me,' she added. 'To me it never looked like she really wanted to know what had happened.'

Earlier this week, German-born Monika escaped a jail sentence for contempt of court. A High Court judge found her in clear breach of court undertakings not to repeat accusations made against Kathy Etchingham. But he refused to fine or jail Monika after hearing in court that she was ill and had little income. Yesterday a shocked neighbour of Monika's said: 'We know she was the former girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix and was quite famous in her day. 'I am really shocked to hear what has happened.'

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Daily Mirror 06 Apr 96 Hendrix 'Libel' Lover In Merc Suicide: Tragedy Of A Loser: Former Girlfriend Of Jimi Hendrix Killed Herself After Losing Court Case

By STEVE DENNIS

THE former girlfriend of rock legend Jimi Hendrix killed herself at her luxury home yesterday - two days after losing a bitter court battle. Blonde artist Monika Danneman, 50, died in her fume-filled Mercedes sports car. She was left distraught by the High Court case brought by Kathy Etchingham, another ex-lover of Hendrix. A family member said at Monika's thatched home at Seaford, Sussex: 'The body was found in the garage. She did not leave a note.'

Hendrix died from a drugs overdose in Monika's London flat in 1970, aged 28. German-born Monika later lived quietly with her mother in the seaside town. But the simmering feud with Kathy finally surfaced last week when she was found guilty of contempt by a High Court judge. Mr Justice French ruled that in a book she wrote last year Monika broke a promise never to repeat a claim that Kathy was an 'inveterate liar.' Kathy, 49, now a doctor's wife and mother of two sons, was awarded her costs. But the judge made no order to send Monika to prison or make her pay damages after hearing that she was ill and living on very little money.

A shocked neighbour of Monika's said last night: 'She lived here for about 14 years and kept herself very much to herself. 'We knew she was the former girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix and was quite famous in her day. 'I saw her yesterday afternoon doing the gardening. 'The last time I spoke to her was when she came round to ask about her tortoise which had escaped.' A police spokesman said: 'We are treating this as suicide.'

The Daily Mirror Page 9

 

Daily Mail 06 Apr 96 Hendrix lover's 'suicide': Blonde is found gassed two days after court defeat

By DAVID MUNK and ANNE SHOOTER T

The devastated former girlfriend of rock star Jimi Hendrix has killed herself two days after losing a bitter court battle with another of the guitarist's ex-lovers.

German-born Monika Danneman's body was found yesterday morning in the fume-filled garage at her home. Police said they were treating the death of the 50-year-old blonde, who was with Hendrix on the night he died, as suicide. They would not comment on whether a note had been found at the thatched house in Seaford, East Sussex, which Miss Danneman, who have been depressed and suffering from poor health, had been defeated in a High Court case brought by Kathy Etchingham, another of Hendrix's former girlfriends.

Miss Danneman had been found guilty of contempt for alleging that Kathy Etchingham was an 'inveterate liar' about her relationship with the rock star. Last night Miss Etchingham, 49, a doctor's wife living in a luxury home in Surrey, spoke of her shock at learning of the death. 'I am greatly saddened that it should have to end like this, ' she said. 'There was never any personal ill-will as far as I was concerned. Certain things happened over the last five years over which I had to take a legal stand.'

The death of Miss Danneman, a former ice-skating champion, brings to an end an often bitter relationship between the two women who shared the life of the 27-year-old rock legend. Three years ago police re-opened the investigation into Hendrix's death after research by Miss Etchingham into the circumstances of his apparent overdose. Robert Greenfield, a former solicitor of Miss Danneman's, said: 'Jimi Hendrix was the love of her life and she never really got over the fact that he died.' But musician Uli Jon Roth, a member of the Scorpions band who went out with Miss Danneman for 12 years, said: 'This whole situation does not add up. She was not the suicide type and she was confident about winning an appeal.'

Daily Mail Page 1

 

Daily Mail 06 Apr 96The curse of Jimi Hendrix: The suicide of Jimi Hendrix's fiancee 25 years after his own mysterious death brings to an end a feud that has consumed two of his lovers for decades

By EDWARD VERITY

More than a quarter of a century has passed since Jimi Hendrix's death at 27 in controversial circumstances secured his place in rock 'n' roll legend. But the years have done nothing to erase the terrible shadow cast over the lives of others by his premature demise. The death of 50-year-old Monika Danneman, the guitar hero's 'fiancee', in a fume-filled car brings to an end half a lifetime of pointless fretting and grieving over a man who, if the truth be told, she hardly knew.

For Kathy Etchingham, another former Hendrix girlfriend and Monika's rival in this week's High Court case, it means the painful reopening of old wounds at a time when she should have been celebrating her legal victory. The story of Jimi, Monika and Kathy is an extraordinary saga of obsession, jealousy, love, Swinging Sixties excess and wasted life. It is dominated, inevitably, by the events of September 18, 1970, the day Hendrix - the hard-living son of a Seattle gardener who catapulted to fame with the 1967 hit Hey Joe and horrified the establishment with his wild stage act - died. Monika's version of events - long disputed by Kathy and many Hendrix fans - was given to Westminster coroner Gavin Thurston at the inquest that same month.

The German-born blonde told how Hendrix, to whom she had been engaged for two years, came to stay at her West London flat four days before his death. On their last day together, they took photographs and went shopping before she cooked spaghetti bolognese for dinner and opened a bottle of white wine. 'There was no arguing or stress. We were talking and listening to music, ' she said. After helping with the washing up and writing his last song, Hendrix decided he wanted to go to a party on his own. Monika dutifully drove him, returning at 2.30am to collect him. The following day she woke at 10.20 am and wanted some cigarettes. 'But as Jimi did not like me going out without me telling him, I looked to see if he was awake. He was sleeping normally. Just before I was about to go out I glanced at him again and realised he was ill. I tried to wake up but I couldn't. Then I saw he had been taking some of my sleeping tablets. He must have taken them shortly after I started to fall asleep.' Monika's story is that Hendrix died at 12.45pm that day, shortly after being admitted to hospital. She told the inquest she had never known the guitarist take hard drugs, although he had admitted trying them. 'He was never sad or depressed when he was with me, ' she concluded.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded and Monika stuck rigidly to her story ever afterwards, even hiring her own private investigator at one stage to prove she did all she could to save him. 'What I said at the inquest is exactly what happened, ' she told the Mail in December 1993 after we revealed Scotland Yard was reopening its investigation into Hendrix's death. 'The police will find that out. There are some people who are trying to reinvent Jimi's death. But the fact is he died accidentally. Naturally I will never forget that night, but I have nothing to hide. What certain people are saying about Jimi's death and about me is not nice.' The latter was, of course, an implicit attack on Kathy, now 49 and married to Dr Nicholas Page and living in a 400,000 detached house in Surrey surrounded by woodland.

This mutual emnity is hardly surprising. For the two leading women in Hendrix's life were as different as their contrasting versions of his death. Monika, pinched and fragile with a hippy fringe and a cascade of Born Unblonde curls, lived like a recluse in a thatched cottage on the South Coast which she turned into a shrine to her lost love. Her paintings of Hendrix, depicted as a young god come to earth, stared down from every wall. In one, skulls, occult signs and flowers dance in a circle round the rock star's head. In another, a blonde girl and Hendrix are pictured in an Eden-like garden. By contrast, Kathy is a greying but still attractive mother of two sons whose comfortable middle class lifestyle is light years away from her days with one of the original bad boys of rock. She has worked as an estate agent and a council housing officer and hasn't listened to Hendrix's music for years. 'It's a bit old hat now, ' she says. But that hasn't stopped her conducting an extraordinary three-year investigation into the death of her former lover with whom she used to sit drinking tea and watching Coronation Street.

It was Kathy who persuaded Scotland Yard to reopen their files after tracking down and interviewing key witnesses - policemen, ambulancemen and party guests. The spur for her investigation was a remarkable account given by Monika in a 1990 biography of Hendrix. On this occasion, insisting the guitarist was still alive on reaching hospital, Monika appeared to lay some of the blame for his death at the door of doctors and ambulancemen. But Kathy, who said her motive was to establish the truth once and for all, obtained a copy of a letter from the surgical registrar on duty at the time at St Mary Abbots Hospital, Kensington. It said: 'On his admission, he was obviously dead. He had no pulse and no heartbeat. I would suspect that he had been dead for quite some time before he reached the hospital.' Kathy strongly believes Hendrix, who had taken nine sleeping pills, died before the ambulance was called. The guitarist's friends also claimed that Monika telephoned singer Eric Burdon before calling an ambulance. Scotland Yard's remit two years ago was to discover if there was any delay and if it was fatal.

In the end, Monika was cleared of any blame. But to add to the mystery the Mail was given a very different version of Hendrix's death by a musician who was at the previous night's party. 'I heard the next day that Jimi had asked for some drugs known as leapers but had been given sleepers instead. It was an understandable mistake, the music was so loud, ' the source said. 'He started to go and people were slapping him, trying to wake him up, but with all those pills inside him it was doing no good. People were trying everything they could think of to get him back, but Jimi was gone. As far as I am aware from people who were there, Jimi died at the party - not in bed at his girlfriend's flat.' Kathy says there are other vital questions about the apparently contradictory evidence given at the inquest and in later biographies and interviews. She is adamant that she hasn't allowed the past to take over her life. 'It is something I have done in my spare time, ' she said in 1993. 'Monika says I'm jealous but why should I be?'

Exactly what role either woman played in Hendrix's promiscuous life is somewhat unclear, made hazier by the years and perhaps some wishful thinking. The latter was particularly true in Monika's case and may well go some lengths to explaining her antipathy towards Kathy. Of the two years she and Hendrix were supposed to be engaged, they spent little more than three weeks together. They met on January 13, 1969 when he played a concert in Dusseldorf. The night before, she had refused to join his table in a nightclub. 'I had read the headlines saying: 'Jimi Hendrix is coming to town. Mothers lock up your daughters', she recalled last year. 'I was very naive; I didn't know groupies existed.' A friend asked Monika if he could borrow her mother's camera to photograph Jimi at his hotel.

Far from locking her up, Monika's mother insisted she go along to chaperone the camera. 'Jimi came and sat next to me, ' Monika recalled. 'I didn't want to know him but soon I realised everything I had heard about him was false. He was a very gentle, caring, highly intelligent person. He asked if I had a boyfriend. Then he said: 'I want you to be my lady. I've been searching for you for a long time. I sense you are the one for me.' Though 23, Monika was a virgin. That afternoon she followed Hendrix to Cologne and stayed with him overnight. 'Jimi said he was terrified I wouldn't turn up. He took me backstage and made me promise I wouldn't vanish while he was playing.' Later they went to a Chinese restaurant. 'I said I'd only stay with him that night if nothing happened because I'd saved myself for the one I loved. Later he said that really impressed him. We talked until 5am, and he told me all about his childhood. He kissed me, but that was all.' Next day they parted after Hendrix told her jealous groupies might spike her drinks if she followed him on tour. They got engaged six weeks later in London and Monika bought the ring - a gold-plated serpent design from a shop on the King's Road - herself. Hendrix liked it so much he went back the next day and got one for himself but didn't wear it much. 'He couldn't when he was playing his guitar. The head of the snake got caught in the strings, ' Monika explained. Hendrix persuaded her to give up the successful ice skating career she had been building since, as a skinny child, a doctor suggested it might improve her strength.

The rock star wanted her to get into painting, saying her art could spread his message, which she carried on doing until her death. They finally made love - 'it was just beautiful. Jimi was very, very gentle' - and he went off on his American tour. Monika didn't see him again until just before he died. 'I told him: 'If I'm not with you, I will understand if you have an affair.' But all that people say about his sex life is so exaggerated.' It was the end of August 1970 when they met up again as Hendrix came to Britain to play the Isle of Wight festival. Even then it was hardly domestic bliss. Hendrix had to go away for a couple of days to play in Europe and went without her. Monika had gone on the Pill especially for their reunion but Hendrix asked her to stop taking it because he wanted a family.   She never conceived.

Kathy, meanwhile, learned of Hendrix's death in a telephone call from a friend who told her: 'Are you sitting down? I've just heard on the car radio - Jimi's dead.' Kathy had just turned 24. Hendrix had come into her life four years earlier when she went to see him play at the Scotch of St James's nightclub in London and was immediately smitten. 'I thought he was quite unusual-looking. Very, very polite and easy mannered. Later we went back to the Hyde Park Towers Hotel and after that we stayed together. We went to clubs, restaurants and friends' houses. Jimi used to play the guitar all the time, even if it wasn't plugged in.' By the time Hendrix died, the couple had drifted apart. 'I bumped into him the day before and he told me I should come round to see him. But I didn't - I didn't know he was going to die. Of course I was very upset about it - nobody likes losing friends. But over the years I got over it and got on with my life.' The same cannot be said of Monika. For a while she had a relationship with another rock star, Uli Roth, from the German band Scorpions, but it didn't work out. 'I knew that my heart would be forever with Jimi, ' she later said.

The simmering feud between the two women exploded in the High Court last week when Monika was defeated by her rival from so many years ago. She was found to be in contempt because she breached an undertaking that she would never repeat an allegation that Kathy was an 'inveterate liar' about her life and relationship with Hendrix. The case centred around a new biography, the Inner World Of Jimi Hendrix, which Monika wrote last year to coincide with the 25th anniversary of his death. To those who saw her in court, Monika seemed the epitome of Sixties rock chic whom time had passed by, a small-time Marianne Faithfull lookalike freeze-framed from some battered old album cover.

On her hands she wore hers and Jimi's old serpent engagement rings. The contrast with Kathy could not have been more obvious. The two women eyed each other but while Kathy, sleek in her businesslike suit and dark shiny Nineties bob, looked in control, Monika seemed sadly adrift. Whispering to her lawyers and scribbling endless Post-it notes with her long artist's fingers, she appeared a slightly comical figure, offering no obvious sign of the tragedy that was to follow. But in her last interview, Monika delivered a telling insight into her private sorrow. 'I never go out and socialise, ' she said. 'I'm just working on my art. Jimi gave me a very heavy burden. I had to promise, really promise, that if he died, I'd spread his message. It is a lonely life. But if I'd not met Jimi, my life would have been very ordinary.' And, you suspect, very much happier and longer.

 

Daily Mail Page 16

 

The Herald 06 Apr 96Sixties child who dedicated her life to memory of a lost love

It was in German-born Monika Danneman's flat that the man hailed as the greatest of all rock guitarists choked on vomit and died, precipitating a controversy which raged for 26 years. Ms Danneman claimed she and Jimi Hendrix, already a rock legend when they met, were engaged to marry, even though they only spent three weeks together in the 19 months between their meeting and his death. A 23-year-old ice-skating champion, Ms Danneman gave up everything for Hendrix - even after his death at the age of 27. Hendrix memorabilia still fetches huge sums - an electric guitar he once owned sold for a world record Pounds 198,000.

He still sells between three and four million albums a year and bookstores are laden with tributes to him. His death shocked the world and soon became the centre of controversy. Had he died, as the official version said, in an ambulance on his way to hospital? Or had he lain dead in Ms Danneman's flat for hours before help was summoned.? As speculation continued, Attorney General Sir Nicholas Lyell was forced, in 1994, to reopen the file. The subsequent investigation cleared Ms Danneman of suggestions that she delayed calling the ambulance. Ms Danneman's lonely death in a fume-filled car is unlikely to arouse such controversy. Hendrix made Ms Danneman promise to 'spread his message' if he died, and that was how she spent the rest of her life, painting pictures of the man as a god-like figure.

Her south-coast cottage, where she had become a virtual recluse, became a shrine to her lost love, with drawings of Hendrix covering the walls. The feud with rival former Hendrix girlfriend Kathy Etchingham was the only thing which kept her in the public eye. The court this week was told she had to sell some of her paintings of Hendrix to support herself and was suffering ill-health. In an interview last year, she admitted she had some regrets. She said: 'I never go out and socialise. I'm just working on my art. Jimi gave me a very heavy burden. I had to promise, really promise, that if he died I'd spread his message. 'It is a lonely life. But if I'd not met Jimi, my life would have been very ordinary.' Ms Danneman seemed the epitome of Sixties rock chic, an anachronism, with heavy, blonde fringe framing a pale, strained face.

The contrast with Mrs Etchingham, now married to a doctor and with two sons, could not have been greater. One had moved on and up, the other was freeze-framed. The two women met in court, but while Mrs Etchingham, sleek in her business suit, looked totally in control, Ms Danneman seemed adrift. But there was little to indicate she would become yet another tragic footnote to pop history.

The Herald Page 3

 

The Herald 06 Apr 96Former girlfrield of Jimi Hendrix found dead in car: Death comes two days after High Court defeat but friend describes it as suspicious

A former girlfriend of rock legend Jimi Hendrix was found dead in a fume-filled car near her home yesterday in an incident described as suspicious and strange by a close friend.

The body of German-born artist Monika Danneman, 50, was discovered in Seaford, East Sussex, just before 10am. Her death came two days after she was defeated in a High Court case brought by Kathy Etchingham, another former girlfriend of Hendrix. Police are treating the death as suicide and the coroner has been informed. But musician Uli Jon Roth, speaking at the attractive thatched cottage where Miss Danneman lived, said last night: 'The thing looks rather suspicious. 'I know she did have a lot of death threats against her over the years, it was an ongoing story. I've witnessed it myself, sometimes, she used to get them on the phone.'

On Wednesday, Miss Danneman was found guilty of contempt by a High Court judge. Miss Danneman, in whose London flat Hendrix was found dead from a drugs overdose in 1970, was found to be in contempt because she breached an undertaking that she would not repeat an allegation about Mrs Etchingham's truthfullness. Mrs Etchingham, 49, now a doctor's wife and mother of two sons, had a 30-month relationship with the guitarist in the 60s. She was awarded her costs 'on an indemnity basis'. But Mr Justice French made no order to commit Miss Danneman to prison or make her pay damages after hearing she was in poor health and living on very little money from selling her paintings of Hendrix. Mr Justice French, giving his judgment, said Mrs Etchingham was for two-and-a-half years Hendrix's girlfriend 'in the modern sense of the word'. He said the offending words were taken from a draft of a book by Miss Danneman in which she quoted the guitarist.

The judge added that in 1995 the allegations were repeated and, although no names were used, it was obvious to many people who was being referred to. Miss Danneman accused the person of 'spreading rumours' which were 'all invention' about the circumstances of Hendrix's death. He said he could not agree with Miss Danneman's counsel, Mr David Eady, QC, that she was trying to protect Hendrix's reputation after claims that he was violent and a heavy drinker, drug-taker and sex maniac. 'I am satisfied as to the criminal burden of proof, both that a libel was published and that there was a breach of the undertaking,' said the judge. Mr Eady told him Miss Danneman had received some money from her family for her paintings but her income was 'negligible'.

He said she had received an advance for her book but no royalties, and handed the judge medical reports about her state of health. Mr Justice French said no public interest would be served by committing Miss Danneman to prison and there was no point in imposing a financial penalty. Mr Roth said last night of Miss Danneman: 'She was just about the most pure and innocent person I've ever met, but I feel that the press and media completely crucified her and she wasn't in a position to defend herself. 'There were so many rumours over the years, and whenever people looked into it, like Scotland Yard, it was all complete nonsense. 'It's absolutely tragic, because she was a totally genuine person. 'I always felt that she was really being crucified in front of everybody, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.' Mr Roth, formerly with the group The Scorpions, said Miss Danneman 'is not a person to do something to herself, particularly as she didn't believe in the concept of suicide. She believed in life after death, and for her, it was a sin. 'We will have to wait for the inquest, but there's a lot of doubts in my mind. It looks very strange.'

He said her mother was inside the house and resting. 'She is devastated and cannot talk to anyone.' Miss Danneman had lived at the house since 1981, he added. She had been upset after losing the court case but he spoke to her by telephone on Thursday and she seemed confident. 'She wanted to do an appeal, she had already arranged for one of the top QCs to do that, because she was convinced, as were her lawyers, that the case was almost impossible to lose. 'But she did lose the first one, and everybody was surprised about that.'

Asked about claims by neighbours that, although the court heard she was living on very little money she always had a new Mercedes, he said: 'She did not have very much money. 'She looked like a wealthy person, she always looked good, but the court cases cost her a fortune. 'I would say she wasn't able to pay for another court case herself, but friends had said they would help her. 'She would not sell her portraits of Jimi, and had been offered a million dollars for his guitar but would not sell it. She was devoted to his memory. 'She didn't have any money of her own.' Mr Roth, who described himself as Miss Danneman's best friend, lives in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

The Herald Page 3

 

The Times 06 Apr 96Hendrix's sad love found dead after losing court case; Victim of a legend, 26 years on

By RICHARD DUCE

A girlfriend who pledged her life to the memory of Jimi Hendrix was found dead yesterday, only 48 hours after losing a costly High Court clash with another ex-lover of the rock guitarist.

Monika Danneman was discovered in her fume-filled Mercedes at her thatched cottage in Seaford, East Sussex, which she had turned into a shrine to the star. Police are treating the case as suicide. Hendrix was living with Miss Danneman in London when he died in 1970, and in a recent interview she said: 'Jimi gave me a heavy burden. I had to promise that if he died, I'd spread his message. It is a lonely life. But if I'd not met Jimi, my life would have been very ordinary.' She had been involved in a long controversy over the circumstances of Hendrix's death and his relationship with the other woman, Kathy Etchingham.

On Wednesday, Miss Danneman, 50, an artist, was held to be in contempt by breaching an injunction not to repeat allegations that Miss Etchingham, 49, was an 'inveterate liar' about her life with Hendrix. She was liable for Pounds 30,000 costs. Last night Miss Etchingham said at her home near Farnham, Hampshire: 'I am greatly saddened that it should have to end like this. There was never any personal ill-will as far as I was concerned. But certain things happened over the last five years over which I had to take a legal stand. I feel very sorry for her family over this dreadful news.' In the past Miss Etchingham, who inspired the Hendrix song Foxy Lady, had questioned whether Miss Danneman could have done more to save Hendrix before he choked to death on his own vomit in September 1970, aged 27.

Continued speculation about the circumstances of the death led Sir Nicholas Lyell, the Attorney-General, to reopen the file in 1994 and consider whether he died, as the official version said, in an ambulance on his way to hospital, or had lain dead in Miss Danneman's Notting Hill flat for hours before help was summoned. The investigation cleared her of suggestions that she delayed calling for help. The two women cut contrasting figures in the High Court this week. Miss Etchingham, now married to a doctor, appeared to be in control. Miss Danneman, an East German-born former ice-skater, appeared sad and isolated as she scribbled endless notes for her lawyers. She continued to paint pictures of Hendrix until her death. The court was told that she had been forced to sell some of her paintings to support herself, and was also in ill-health. In her recent interview, she said: 'I never go out and socialise. I'm just working on my art.' Miss Danneman had earlier lost a libel action and was ordered to pay 1,000 damages and costs after alleging that Miss Etchingham 'would cheat and lie for money' and stole the guitarist's belongings from his flat while he was away on tour.

The claims resurfaced in 1995 when Miss Danneman published The Inner World of Jimi Hendrix, to coincide with the anniversary of his death. Holding her in contempt on Wednesday, Mr Justice French said that no public interest would be served by jailing her or by imposing a financial penalty. Police were called to her home at 9.40am yesterday after her mother, Rosemarie, raised the alarm. At the cottage, a male relative said: 'She was very upset by the court case this week. She did not leave a note. Nobody seems to know what happened.' A neighbour said: 'I am really shocked. I saw her yesterday. She was doing the gardening.' A police spokesman said: 'It is my understanding that the victim was overcome by fumes. We are treating it as a suicide.'

The Times Issue65547.

 

Daily Telegraph 06 Apr 96Ex-girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix is found dead
By MICHAEL FLEET

A former girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix, the late rock star, was found dead at her home yesterday, two days after losing a court case involving another of his ex-lovers. Monika Danneman had been ordered to pay the costs of Kathy Etchingham after a High Court judge ruled that she had broken a legal undertaking to desist from repeating a claim that Miss Ethchingham was an 'inveterate liar'. Miss Danneman, 50, escaped being sent to jail for the contempt after medical reports said she was too ill to stand a prison sentence.

Yesterday she was discovered dead in her fume-filled Mercedes sports car at her thatched home in Seaford, East Sussex. Police are treating the death as suicide and friends and family of Miss Danneman said she had been upset at losing the court case and at the re-emergence last year of concerns over her role in Hendrix's death. Miss Danneman had been dogged by allegations that she had delayed calling an ambulance on the day Hendrix died in London in 1970. The accusations resurfaced a year ago when the investigation into Hendrix's death was re-opened. Miss Danneman was subsequently cleared of blame.

At the time she said: 'It hurts a lot that you have to go back into the past and remember every detail. 'Just remembering everything brings out a lot of pain again. 'For me the important thing was that friends of Jimi find out from Scotland Yard that the allegations were completely untrue and unfounded. 'I always knew the investigation would vindicate me because there was no other way. 'But naturally it is a strain, especially when it is a person you love.' Insp Graham Alexander, of Sussex police, said the coroner had been informed of the death and there were no suspicious circumstances. He added: 'I can confirm that the body was found in the garage and my understanding is that the victim may have been overcome by fumes.'

The Daily Telegraph

 

Daily Telegraph 06 Apr 96A six-week affair that lasted a lifetime: Hendrix's lover clung to his memory for 26 years
By TOM LEONARD

Monika Danneman clung obsessively to her role as the devoted girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix, but it was one to which few others thought she was entitled.

Although Hendrix died in the German-born blonde's basement flat in Notting Hill in 1970, the pair are only thought to have been together there for a few days. Neighbours of the small thatched cottage in Seaford, East Sussex, which Miss Danneman shared with her mother for 14 years described her yesterday as a private person, whose link with Hendrix aroused sporadic local interest. David Hughes, 71, who lives opposite her home, said she rarely spoke but always waved good morning. 'They were never any trouble but they never bothered to get to know their neighbours.' He said: 'She had claimed to be virtually penniless but that was not what I saw. She and her mother lived in a beautiful house and she bought a new Mercedes every other year.' Another neighbour said: 'We knew she was the former girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix and was quite famous in her day but we did not pay a lot of attention. 'I saw her yesterday afternoon out of my window, she was doing the gardening. But the last time I spoke to her was when she came round here to ask about her tortoise which had escaped.'

The former ice-skating champion was known to have had a long-term boyfriend, a German rock guitarist, but Hendrix dominated her existence. Her home became a shrine to the star, its walls covered with the psychedelic pictures of him that she painted and sold for a living. Decorated with flowers, skulls and magic symbols, the artwork invariably depicted Hendrix as a young god who had come to earth - often with a blonde girl companion. According to Miss Danneman, she met Hendrix in Dusseldorf in 1969 when he was nearing the height of his fame. Instead of the drug-crazed wild man of popular repute, she said she found him to be 'very kind and sensitive, very intelligent, very inspired'. She claimed that they moved in together six weeks later and fell in love almost immediately. They wanted to get engaged and were going to get married, she said. In the High Court last week she was still wearing the coiled snake ring which she claimed that Hendrix gave her as a symbol of his commitment. But within days of moving in to the flat, Hendrix was dead after an overdose of sleeping pills.

Miss Danneman was deeply upset when her own role in the rock star's death was questioned three years ago by Kathy Etchingham, Hendrix's girlfriend for two and a half years. Miss Etchingham claimed that Miss Danneman had delayed calling an ambulance on the morning of the guitarist's death. Although the Attorney General subsequently rejected a call for a new inquest, Miss Danneman felt that many of the star's fans and friends thought that she could have done more to save his life. Her determination to defend her reputation was probably mixed with jealousy for the other girlfriend - Miss Etchingham was mentioned with three Hendrix songs while Miss Danneman never featured in any.

Three years ago Miss Etchingham sued for libel over a manuscript being circulated by Miss Danneman which accused the former of being an inveterate liar - apparently according to Hendrix himself - and of having stolen the star's belongings from his flat. Miss Danneman agreed to an undertaking not to repeat a similar libel. However, in 1995 she published a book about Hendrix in which she said claims of her alleged delay in summoning an ambulance were a 'complete fabrication'. It was enough to bring Miss Etchingham, now a doctor's wife and the mother of two sons, back to court.

Despite pleas from Miss Danneman's lawyers that she had been trying to protect the reputation of Hendrix, a High Court judge ruled in Miss Etchiham's favour. Miss Etchingham greeted the ruling as 'a victory for common sense' and said that she hoped she had heard the end of it. 'Miss Danneman was not Jimi's girlfriend subsequent to me,' she added. 'Their relationship so far as I know only spanned three days.' Yesterday Miss Etchingham said at her home in Surrey: 'I am greatly saddened that it should have to end like this. There was never any personal ill-will towards Monika as far I was concerned. 'But certain things happened over the past five years over which I had to take legal action.' However she added: 'I'm feel very sorry for her family over this dreadful news. I just don't feel able to say any more.'

The Daily Telegraph

 

 The Guardian 06 Apr 96Hendrix women's feud ends in death
By ALEX BELLOS

Monika Danneman, Jimi Hendrix's last girlfriend, who devoted her life to keeping his memory alive, was found dead yesterday two days after losing a court battle with another of his lovers.

German-born Danneman, in whose London flat the rock star died of a drugs overdose 26 years ago, was found in her car at her home in Seaford, East Sussex. Police said the car was full of fumes and the death appeared to be suicide.

On Wednesday the blonde former skating champion was found guilty of contempt at the High Court for repeating allegations that Kathy Etchingham, Hendrix's previous girlfriend, was an 'inveterate liar' about her life with him. It was the final chapter of a long-running feud between the women, who have never agreed about how Hendrix died and whose lives since then have pushed them in opposite directions. Etchingham, aged 49, is married to a doctor, has two sons and lives in Surrey, while Danneman, aged 50, became a virtual recluse and turned her thatched Seaford cottage into a Hendrix shrine. On its walls are several of her paintings, which depict the legendary guitarist as a young god come to earth. She told a newspaper last year: 'Jimi gave me a very heavy burden. I had to promise, really promise that if he died, I'd spread his message. It is a lonely life.'

Hendrix died on September 18, 1970. The inquest recorded an accident verdict after hearing Danneman say that he had taken nine of her sleeping pills, apparently by mistake, and choked to death on his own vomit. Danneman later insisted the guitarist was still alive on reaching hospital and appeared to lay some blame for his death at the door of doctors and ambulancemen. But Etchingham disagreed and spent years tracking down witnesses to find out when Hendrix died and if Danneman delayed calling the ambulance. In 1993 she got Scotland Yard to reopen the investigation into the death.

The animosity between the two women started two decades before when Danneman denounced Etchingham by repeating comments that Hendrix had allegedly made about her, such as that she 'would cheat and lie for money' and stole the guitarist's belongings from his flat while he was away on tour. Etchingham eventually sued Danneman for libel. The case was settled in 1992, and Danneman gave an undertaking not to repeat the allegations. But they resurfaced in 1995 when Danneman published the Inner World of Jimi Hendrix. Both women were in court this week - Etchingham in a business suit and nineties bob; Danneman with a heavy blonde Marianne Faithful fringe. Mr Justice French said on Wednesday that although no names were used in the book, it was obvious to many people who was being referred to. He said he could not agree with Danneman's counsel, David Eady QC, that she was trying to protect Hendrix's reputation after claims that he was violent, a heavy drinker, drug taker and sex maniac. Mr Eady told the judge that Miss Danneman's income was 'negligible' and handed the judge medical reports about her state of health. Mr Justice French said no public interest would be served by jailing Miss Danneman and a financial penalty would be pointless.

At Seaford yesterday a man at Danneman's home who said he was a member of her family said: 'She was very upset by the court case this week. Nobody seems to know what has happened.' Uli Jon Roth, of Tunbridge Wells, who described himself as Danneman's best friend, said she wanted to appeal against this week's judgment: 'She was just about the most pure and innocent person I've ever met, but I feel that the press and media completely crucified her, and she wasn't in a position to defend herself. 'She had been offered a million dollars for Jimi's guitar, but would not sell it. She was devoted to his memory.'

The Guardian

PAGE 001

 

Independent 06 Apr 96 Hendrix girlfriend found dead
By JAMES CUSICK

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.

The Independent

 

Independent 06 Apr 96 Tragic end for the woman who worshipped Hendrix: Rock 'n' roll death: Defeat in her court case this week may have proved too much for Monika Danneman
By JAMES CUSICK and NICOLE VEASH

On any corner of Greenwich Village in New York or Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, California, strains of the Sixties can usually be heard, performed by an ageing hippy and his guitar. More often than not the song is Bob Dylan's 'The Times They Are A Changing.'

But for Monika Danneman, the archetypal rock chick and one time girlfriend of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, time just never did change. In the undefined mid-1990s, with youth culture struggling for an identity, the retro-fashion of the decade of Timothy Leary and the Beatles, youth protest and freedom, looks appealing. Then Jimi Hendrix was the resident atonal, psychedelic freak; a black musician become rock hero. Eric Clapton, for some, was his white equivalent, but with one crucial difference. Eric is still alive and ageing.

Now both Hendrix and his final girlfriend are gone. Hendrix's extraordinary technique attracted a cult following. On his first tour in London, he supported the Monkees, an industry-invented 'Take That' troupe, loved by mums and dads. German-born Monika Danneman was a champion ice-skater when she met Hendrix in 1968 in a Dusseldorf bar. As chronicler of her own legend, she claims she fell in love straight away. Then there was a gap of some years before the romance was rekindled in London. In her book, The Inner Life of Jimi Hendrix, published last year to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Hendrix's drug-induced death, the couple are described as living anything but a life of sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll.

There was apparent domestic bliss in a rented flat in Notting Hill Gate where Hendrix talked about 'life and death for hours'. She says they were engaged and she wore a massive golden serpent that wrapped round her finger. She was wearing the ring at the High Court last week when she was convicted of contempt of court for continuing a libel against another of the rock star's women. The reality, for those who knew Hendrix well, was that Danneman only ever occupied three weeks out of the rock hero's short life. The woman Danneman regarded as her rival, Kathy Etchingham, was the long- standing 'Foxy Lady' girlfriend of Hendrix.

She has moved on from her Sixties' days, and is now the respectable wife of a doctor and mother of two teenage sons. Danneman in court looked the classic Sixties babe: long blonde feathered hair, tight black suit with bright red satin underneath, lots of rings, lots of jewellery, heavy mascara, and a mohair coat. Appearing every inch the rock star girlfriend, in her mind she remained anchored to the Hendrix legend. Hendrix died on 18 September 1970, in Danneman's Notting Hill flat. Those who have examined the timetable of the death point to a missing five hours between Danneman's alleged first discovery of the body and the arrival of an ambulance. In 1994, the Attorney General Sir Nicholas Lyell reopened the file on the death.

The subsequent investigation cleared Danneman of suggestions that she delayed calling the ambulance. After Hendrix's death, she turned him into a personal religion - worshipping by painting oil pictures of him 'on the astral plane' and continuing to write about him. The painting and drawings covered her house which became a shrine to lost love. By the end of her life she had become a virtual recluse. She recently said: 'It is a lonely life. But if I'd not met Jimi, my life would have been very ordinary.'

News 3

The Independent

 

Daily Mirror MR 04 Apr 96Star Jimi Love Battle: Love Battle Over Jimi Hendrix

A former girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix yesterday claimed victory over a love rival who was found guilty of contempt by a High Court judge. Kathy Etchingham, 49, who had a 30-month relationship with the guitarist in the 60s, was awarded pounds 30,000 costs against German Monika Danneman. Danneman,48, in whose London flat Hendrix was found dead in 1970, had breached an undertaking that she would not repeat claims Mrs Etchingham had 'lied' over her relationship with the star.

The Daily Mirror Page 2

 

The Herald HER 04 Apr 96Hendrix girlfriends fight out differences in court

The brunette Foxy Lady of rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix yesterday claimed victory over her blonde 60s love rival, who was found guilty of contempt by a High Court judge. Mrs Kathy Etchingham, now a middle-aged, middle class doctor's wife and mother of two sons, said she hoped her battle with German born Monika Danneman, was finally over.

Mrs Etchingham, 49, who had a 30-month relationship with the guitarist in the 60s, was awarded her costs 'on an indemnity basis'. But Mr Justice French made no order to commit Danneman, 48, to prison or make her pay damages after hearing she was in very poor health and living on very little money from selling her paintings of Hendrix. Danneman, in whose London flat Hendrix was found dead from a drugs overdose in 1970, was found to be in contempt because she breached an undertaking that she would never repeat an allegation that Mrs Etchingham was an 'inveterate liar' about her life and relationship with the rock star. Mrs Etchingham, of Wyndham Road, west London, who will receive around 30,000 to cover the expense of the hearing, said outside court she was 'absolutely delighted' with the result and the work of her legal team. 'This has been on ongoing problem for me but I hope this is an end to it now. 'Those times in the 60s are long gone and I don't think about them any more, but I was fed up that someone who only had a relationship with Jimi for three days was claiming she knew him when he was engaged to me. 'It is absolutely bizarre that this has been going on for 26 years.'

She had won a libel action against Danneman, who was ordered to pay Pounds 1000 damages and costs, after the former skating champion and artist alleged Mrs Etchingham 'would cheat and lie for money' and stole the guitarist's belongings from his flat while he was away on tour. The claims resurfaced in 1995 with Danneman, of Belgrave Roade, Seaford, East Sussex, published the Inner World of Jimi Hendrix, to coincide with the anniversary of his death. Mr Justice French, giving his judgment, said Mrs Etchingham was for two-and-a-half years the girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix 'in the modern sense of the word'.

The judge described Hendrix as a rock guitarist and singer 'whose fame lives on' after he died of a sleeping tablets overdose in 1970. He said the offending words were taken from a draft of a book by Danneman in which she quoted Hendrix as saying that Mrs Etchingham was a girl 'who will cheat and lie for money' and who promised to leave her husband if Hendrix would take her back. The judge said that in 1995 the allegations were repeated and, although no names were used at that time, it was obvious to many people who was being referred to.

The Herald Page 5

 

The Times 04 Apr 96 Hendrix lover claims victory
By OLIVER AUGUST

A former girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix claimed victory yesterday over another of the rock star's lovers who was found guilty of contempt at the High Court. Kathy Etchingham, now a doctor's wife and mother of two sons, said her battle with Monika Danneman, a German, was finally over. Miss Etchingham, 50, who had a 30-month relationship with the American guitarist, was awarded costs, ending a 25-year dispute over the circumstances of Hendrix's death in 1970.

But Mr Justice French declined to jail Miss Danneman, in whose flat Hendrix died, or make her pay damages. The court was told she was in bad health and recently had to sell her paintings of Hendrix to support herself. Miss Danneman was found to be in contempt because in her book on the guitarist, published last year, she had breached an earlier undertaking not to call Miss Etchingham an 'inveterate liar'.

Speaking outside the court, Miss Etchingham said she was delighted with the result. 'Monika Danneman was always trying to show that she was engaged to Jimmy while I was going out with him. They were only together the last three days of his life.' Miss Etchingham has always claimed that Hendrix had become immersed in sex and drugs and was extremely unhappy in 1970.

But Miss Danneman remembers Hendrix's last few months as happy. She claims they got engaged and that Miss Etchingham was trying to steal Hendrix from her. Mr Justice French agreed with Miss Etchingham that the allegations made in the book were similar to statements made by Miss Danneman in the 1970s and published in 1991 which she had undertaken not to repeat.

The Times Issue65545.

 

The Guardian 04 Apr 96 Second Front: No 796 - Jimi Hendrix: Pass Notes

Age: Forever young. I thought that was Bob Dylan. Never. Look at him, for gawd's sake. At least Robert's still alive. Yes, but James Marshall Hendrix's message is as valid now as it was the day he died 26 years ago.

What message was that? You can't go wrong with a nice cup of tea - two sugars, please - and isn't it time for Coronation Street? You're not telling me. . Yes, I'm afraid so. The lascivious guitar-slinging sentinel of sensation on a six-string, the son of Seattle who changed forever the course of popular music, that sculptor of sounds from a futureworld of the senses, was, in fact, the mild man of rock. Keep on taking the tablets. No, no, turns out he didn't deserve his reputation as a receptical for illegal substances either. Next you'll say he used to put John Innes No. 1 on his geraniums. I won't, actually. But Kathy Etchingham might. Who's she when she's at home? This example of the species 'former rock chick' is a 49-year-old mother of two who is married to a doctor.

To say nothing of being an 'inveterate liar.' A contemptible suggestion. Here we find ourselves in complete agreement with Mr Justice French, who sided with our Kathy in the battle of the, ahem, babes down the high court yesterday. What's going on? It's like this. Kathy was gentleman Jimi's girlfriend 'in the modern sense.' Meaning? Who knows what was going through Frenchie's head when he said that. Maybe the rock legend used to invite people up to see his Etchinghams. Or maybe the judge was referring to the fact that by the time Jimi (27) OD'd he had transferred his afflictions, I mean affections, to one Monika Danneman. The not-very-well-known painter? That's the one, and she didn't paint a very flattering picture of her rival. The way she put it, Ms E would cheat and lie and nick Jimi's stuff. What's Frenchie done about it? In legal parlance, he's told Monika to shut her trap. So that's an end to it, I suppose. Hey Joe, are you experienced?

This one's been rumbling on in a purple haze with one foxy lady slugging it out with the other for almost as long as the average Carlos Santana solo. We may still be in electric ladyland. Not to be confused with: Jimmy Tarbuck, Horlicks, Stevie Ray Vaughan. Most likely to say: 'Get us a nice packet of Tetley's while you're out, there's a love.' Least likely to say: ' 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky.'

The Guardian PAGE T003

 

 

The Independent 04 Apr 96 'Foxy Lady' is winner over Hendrix slur
By NICOLE VEASH

The girlfriend who inspired guitarist Jimi Hendrix's song 'Foxy Lady' claimed victory yesterday over her Sixties rival who was found guilty of contempt by a High Court judge. Kathy Etchingham, now a 49-year old doctor's wife and mother of two sons, said she hoped her battle with German-born Monika Danneman, was over. Miss Danneman, 48, in whose London flat Hendrix was found dead from a drugs overdose in 1970, was found to be in contempt because she breached an undertaking that she would never repeat an allegation that Mrs Etchingham was an 'inveterate liar' about her life with the rock star.

Miss Etchingham said Miss Danneman's book, The Inner Life of Jimi Hendrix, broke the undertaking by painting her as an 'inveterate liar' She said: 'This is a victory for common sense and I am absolutely delighted. This has been an ongoing problem for me but I hope this is an end to it now. 'I was fed up that someone who only had a relationship with Jimi for three days claims she was engaged to him. It is absolutely bizarre that this has been going on for 26 years.' Mr Justice French, who described Miss Etchingham as being 'for two and a half years the girlfriend, in the modern sense of the word, of Jimi Hendrix', awarded her costs, estimated at pounds 30,000. But he made no order to commit Miss Danneman to prison or pay a fine after hearing she was in poor health and living on very little money from selling her paintings of Hendrix.

The battle between the two women goes back to the Seventies. In a series of News of the World articles, Miss Etchingham claimed that Miss Danneman did not do enough to save Hendrix after he died from an overdose of sleeping tablets. Miss Danneman, of Seaford, East Sussex, wrote her libellous book in which she quoted Hendrix as saying that Mrs Etchingham was a girl 'who will cheat and lie for money'.

News 6 The Independent

 

 

Daily Mirror ML 03 Apr 96Hendrix's women go back to court in row over memoirs

Two former girlfriends of Jimi Hendrix faced each other in the High Court yesterday. Kathy Etchingham, who had a relationship with the rock star in the Sixties, claimed she had been branded a liar by Monika Danneman, one-time fiancee of the guitarist, who died in 1970.

Miss Etchingham, 49, of West London, now married with two children, said her rival had breached an undertaking given at a 1992 libel hearing not to repeat an accusation she made in memoirs of her time with the musician. Miss Danneman, 48, of Seaford, East Sussex, had quoted Hendrix as saying of Miss Etchingham: 'She is another girl who will cheat and lie for money.

When I went on tour I left her in charge of my flat to return and find everything in it, plus Kathy, gone.' Mr Charles Gray, QC, for Miss Etchingham, said this had been the foundation of the libel action in which Miss Danneman paid modest damages and given an undertaking not to repeat the allegation. But Mr Gray said Miss Danneman's 1995 book The Inner World Of Jimi Hendrix repeated the allegation. His client was not named in the book but she could be easily identified, he said. Miss Danneman denied branding Miss Etchingham a liar, and said she was putting right mistaken newspaper reports which had been quoted in her name. Judgment is expected today.

 

Daily Mail Page 10

 

Evening Standard 03 Apr 96Jimi Hendrix lover wins court victory over libel

A former girlfriend of rock legend Jimi Hendrix today claimed victory over her Sixties love rival, who was found guilty of contempt by a High Court judge. Kathy Etchingham, 49, now a London doctor's wife and mother of two sons, said she hoped her battle with German-born Monika Danneman was finally over.

Miss Etchingham - married name Page - had a 30-month relationship with the guitarist in the Sixties. Today she was awarded her costs 'on an indemnity basis'. However, Mr Justice French made no order to commit Miss Danneman, 48, to prison or make her pay damages after hearing she was in poor health and living on little money from selling her paintings of Hendrix.

Miss Danneman, in whose London flat Hendrix was found dead from a drugs overdose in 1970, was found to be in contempt because she breached an undertaking that she would never repeat an allegation that Miss Etchingham was an 'inveterate liar' about her life and relationship with the rock star. Miss Etchingham, who will receive around 30,000 to cover the expense of the hearing, said outside court she was 'absolutely delighted' with the result. 'This has been an ongoing problem for me but I hope this is an end to it. Those times in the Sixties are long gone and I don't think about them any more. It is absolutely bizarre that this has been going on for 26 years.' She had won an action in 1991 against former skating champion Miss Danneman, who was ordered to pay 1,000 damages and costs, and to sign an undertaking that she would not repeat the 'liar' libel.

The claims resurfaced last year when Miss Danneman, of Seaford, East Sussex, published her book, The Inner World Of Jimi Hendrix. Mr Justice French said the offending words were taken from a draft of a book by Miss Danneman and although no names were used, it was obvious to many people who was being referred to. Miss Danneman accused the person of 'spreading rumours' which were 'all invention' about the circumstances of Hendrix's death. He could not agree with Miss Danneman's counsel, David Eady QC, that she was trying to protect Hendrix's reputation after claims that he was violent, a heavy drinker, drug-taker and sex maniac. 'I am satisfied as to the criminal burden of proof, both that a libel was published and that there was a breach of the undertaking, ' said the judge.

 

Evening Standard Page 6

 

The Herald 03 Apr 96Hendrix's girlfriends go to court over 'liar' claim

Two former girlfriends of legendary rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix faced each other in the High Court yesterday. Miss Kathy Etchingham, who had a 30-month relationship with the American musician in the 60s, wants Mr Justice French to take action against her one-time love rival, German-born Miss Monika Danneman, for alleged contempt of court. Miss Etchingham, now married to a doctor and the mother of two boys, claims that 48-year-old Miss Danneman is in breach of a legal undertaking she gave in 1992 not to repeat an allegation that Miss Etchingham was an 'inveterate liar'.

The undertaking, together with the payment of modest damages and costs, was part of the settlement of 49-year-old Miss Etchingham's libel action against Miss Danneman over the claim, which appeared in a memoir of her life with Hendrix. Mr Charles Gray QC, for Miss Etchingham, said his client left Hendrix in April 1969. The guitarist was staying at Miss Danneman's London flat when he died of an overdose of sleeping tablets in September 1970.

In 1991, Miss Etchingham discovered that Miss Danneman, an artist and former skating champion, was circulating an account of her relationship with Hendrix which said Miss Etchingham would 'cheat and lie for money' and stole his belongings from his flat while he was away on tour. There was no suggestion that there was any truth in the allegations, said Mr Gray. The claims resurfaced in 1995, when Miss Danneman, of Seaford, East Sussex, published the Inner World of Jimi Hendrix, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of his death. Mr Gray said the book contained a repetition of the allegation of mendacity in various formulations. It was, he added, a clear breach of the undertaking. Mr David Eady QC, for Miss Danneman, said she was trying to protect Hendrix's reputation by addressing the 'character assassination' which followed his death.

He said that after Hendrix died, a Sunday newspaper article reported that Miss Etchingham had said Hendrix was violent, a heavy drinker, a drug taker, and a sex maniac. Another article, in the News of the World, said Miss Danneman had delayed calling an ambulance for Hendrix, had lied at his inquest, and that Scotland Yard had reopened their inquiries because of Miss Etchingham's investigations. Mr Eady said the allegations of lying were directed not at Miss Etchingham but at the veracity of the newspaper articles, which Miss Etchingham herself agreed contained a number of errors. The judge reserved his decision until today.

The Herald Page 3

 

 

The Times MS 03 Apr 96Hendrix's foxy ladies continue their feud in court
By OLIVER AUGUST T

Two former girlfriends of Jimi Hendrix yesterday took their 25-year feud over why the rock star died to the High Court. Kathy Etchingham, 48, applied to have Monika Danneman, 50, jailed for branding her a liar in a recent book. Ms Danneman was responding to allegations that she called an ambulance five hours after discovering Hendrix had died in her flat on September 18, 1970.

It is believed that he took a drugs overdose and choked on his vomit. Ms Danneman became Hendrix's lover after the end of his 30-month affair with Ms Etchingham. The animosity between the two women started during the 1970s when Ms Danneman denounced Ms Etchingham in interviews, the court was told. She recounted comments Hendrix had allegedly made to her about Ms Etchingham, such as 'Kathy Etchingham was another girl who I met when I came to London who would cheat and lie for money. When I went on tour I left her in charge of my flat and when I came back I found everything plus Kathy gone.'

A typewritten account based on these interviews was circulated in musicians' circles in 1990 and 1991. Ms Etchingham believed it was written by Ms Danneman and sued her for libel. Ms Danneman always denied writing the tract. The libel case was settled in 1992 and Ms Danneman gave an undertaking to the court not to repeat the allegations made in the interviews and specifically not to accuse Ms Etchingham of lying. But when Ms Etchingham again questioned the circumstances of Hendrix's death in a newspaper interview, Ms Danneman attacked Ms Etchingham in a book called The Inner World of Jimi Hendrix, published last year. Ms Danneman wrote in the afterword that a former lover had 'constructed the most gruesome story of Jimi's death. It was all an invention'.

Writing this amounted to a breach of the undertaking given by Ms Danneman that she would not call Ms Etchingham a liar again, Charles Gray, QC, said. Even though Ms Etchingham was not directly named she was easily identifiable to people familiar with Hendrix's story, Ms Etchingham's lawyer said. David Eady, QC, for Ms Danneman, claimed she had called a newspaper article based on interviews with Ms Etchingham a 'lie' but not Ms Etchingham herself a 'liar'. The judge reserved his decision until today.

The Times Issue65544.

 

 

Daily Telegraph 03 Apr 96Hendrix, the tame man of rock 'n' roll
By TOM LEONARD

The Sixties rock star Jimi Hendrix did not deserve his reputation as a drug addict, sex maniac and wild man, the High Court was told yesterday when two of his former girlfriends aired their long-standing differences.

Kathy Etchingham - who says that Hendrix was a 'tea with two sugars man who loved watching Coronation Street' - claims that Monika Danneman committed contempt of court for breaching an undertaking not to repeat allegations that she was an inveterate liar. Miss Danneman, in whose Notting Hill flat Hendrix died after an overdose in 1970, had made the undertaking in 1992 as part of a settlement for a libel action taken by Miss Etchingham. It followed her discovery that Miss Danneman, 48, had publicly claimed that Miss Etchingham would cheat and lie for money, and also stole Hendrix's belongings from his flat while the star was away on tour. German-born Miss Danneman, who paints psychedelic paintings of Hendrix from her home in Seaford, East Sussex, is now accused of repeating the accusation in a book on the star, published last year, on the 25th anniversary of his death.

In the book she attacked a newspaper article which reported that the police were reopening their investigation into Hendrix's death because two 'Miss Marple-type' fans, one an ex-girlfriend, claimed that Miss Danneman had delayed calling for an ambulance. By denouncing the article as a 'complete fabrication' she was repeating her earlier libel, said Charles Gray, QC, for 49-year-old Miss Etchingham. Although she was not mentioned by name, it had been widely publicised that his client, who is married to a doctor and lives in west London with their two sons, had made the claim about the ambulance, he added. David Eady, QC for Miss Danneman, said she had been criticising the 'character assassination of Hendrix' rather than Miss Etchingham. 'She was entitled to say his reputation as drug addict, sex maniac and wild man is false.' The case continues.

The Daily Telegraph

  

Independent 03 Apr 96Hendrix women do battle
By NICOLE VEASH

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.

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