Jimi Hendrix’s former girlfriend Kathy Etchingham has offered to produce her medical records and prove the “shocking” inaccuracies in biopic Jimi: All Is By My Side.
She spoke up before the 2014 movie was released, saying that writer and director John Ridley hadn’t consulted her, and that scenes that showed Hendrix being violent to her were works of fantasy.
Hendrix biographer Charles R Cross last year condemned the production, saying: “I interviewed 325 people, from family members to friends. I never heard a story that’s even close to that.”
Now Etchingham tells Rich Davenport: “The whole story is a fabrication. Even the things that did happen have not been produced accurately.
“John Ridley didn’t consult me, so I don’t know where he got it from. Apparently Jimi beat my head in with a telephone receiver and then beat me up in the street. They’ve got me taking an overdose of tablets and being in hospital. None of these things happened.
“I was completely shocked. If somebody beat you up like that, the police would be involved. If you took an overdose a psychiatrist would be involved. With the National Health Service your medical records stay with you for life. I’d be quite happy to produce them – there’d be nothing in there.”
She says she contacted Ridley as soon as she heard the movie, starring Outkast rapper Andre Benjamin, was to be made. “I wrote a nice email saying, ‘If you need any help don’t hesitate to ask.’ He didn’t even have the common courtesy to say thanks but no thanks. He didn’t respond. He went out of his way not to talk to me.
“But he still maintains he spoke to Jimi’s friends. I know them all – and none of them have heard of John Ridley.”
Etchingham, who met Hendrix the day he arrived in London, says the guitar icon was a very different man to the one portrayed in All Is By My Side. “He wasn’t drugged up or drunk at all,” she recalls. “He was so determined to make something of himself and show what he could do. It was all very busy. He spent a lot of time writing his songs and practising.”
And her message for fans is: “Keep your money in your pocket – you’re not going to learn anything about Jimi Hendrix from this film.”