It took decades for a biopic of guitar god Jimi Hendrix to get off the ground, but Toronto International Film Festival entry "All Is By My Side" faced its toughest roadblock in the form of Hendrix's former girlfriend, who claims she forced director John Ridley to re-edit the movie to fix mistakes.
Kathy Etchingham, who met Hendrix in London in 1966 and dated the musical legend for three years, called the film "sexist," "ridiculous," and defamatory. Starring rapper Andre Benjamin of Outkast as Hendrix and Hayley Atwell as Etchingham, "All is By My Side" chronicles their relationship and Hendrix's life abroad before he got his big break.
Etchingham said she first became aware of the film's issues when she came across an interview with Atwell, who described Etchingham as a Manchester native and working class woman who "swears in every line and is a chain-smoking wild child from the '60s, who had a notoriously tempestuous relationship with Jimi."
In an interview with New York Post's Page Six, Etchingham, an Ireland native, called Atwell's characterization upsetting and completely false. She said that a scene in the movie where Hendrix slams a telephone into Etchingham's head never happened, adding that "in the early days he was a fresh, clearheaded, and ambitious musician."
"All Is By My Side" received tax breaks from the Irish government, and Etchingham wrote to the Irish Film Board to complain that the movie defamed one of Ireland's own. Etchingham's attorney also wrote to Ridley, who Etchingham claimed was forced to re-edit the movie "to take out the defamatory bits and reshoot scenes."
"We had a lot of fun that first year in London, and I think it's a shame that Ridley has made such a pig's ear of the story," Etchingham said.
[via Page Six]