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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The company that controls rights to rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix's music and likeness said on Thursday a purported sex tape of the musician being sold on the Internet was not authentic.
"We strongly dispute the claimed authenticity of the tape," Experience Hendrix said in a statement.
"We view the release as nothing more than a callous attempt to trade on the image and reputation of a deceased artist who is unable to defend himself against such an outrageous and baseless assertion," the Seattle-based company added.
Earlier this week, Los Angeles-based adult video company Vivid Entertainment released a 45-minute DVD that includes 11 minutes of roughly 40-year-old film footage showing a man resembling Hendrix cavorting with two unidentified brunettes in a dimly lit bedroom.
Vivid said it consulted several experts to authenticate Hendrix's likeness on the tape, including women who knew the guitarist. It said it acquired the tape from an individual who purchased it from a collector who found it.
Steven Hirsch, co-chairman of Vivid, said in his own statement on Thursday that Experience Hendrix's comments were "not in any way a refutation of the authenticity" of the tape.
"We are very comfortable this is the real thing," Hirsch said.
Others have also called the tape's authenticity into question, including Charles Cross, author of Hendrix biography "Room Full of Mirrors." He told the New York Times that "it doesn't add up to Jimi" and said he had previously encountered the film himself when he was researching his book.
The sex tape DVD was available for sale online and Vivid said it would be in stores starting next Tuesday.
Hendrix is considered one of the great rock guitarists of all time with hits such as "Hey Joe," "Purple Haze" and "Foxy Lady." He died in 1970 at age 27 in London.
Vivid, in addition to marketing adult videos, has also distributed the notorious sex tape of actress Pamela Anderson and rocker Tommy Lee.
Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Mary Milliken