Vivid co-chairman Steven Hirsch said his company is so confident of the authenticity of the 40-year-old footage in "Jimi Hendrix The Sex Tape" that it recently offered $100,000 to Experience Hendrix, LLC ("Experience Hendrix"), the family company of the legendary guitarist, if it can provide verifiable proof that Hendrix is not the "star" of the tape.
The controversy over the tape escalated after Experience Hendrix publicly denied the tape actually showed Hendrix having sex with two unidentified brunettes. Mr. Hirsch said: "The press release/statement from Experience Hendrix proves nothing. Vivid took considerable time and spent a substantial sum of money to authenticate the footage and we are very comfortable that this is the real thing. We believe that those who say otherwise are relying on their emotions to make unsubstantiated claims. If Experience Hendrix can prove definitively that it's not Jimi Hendrix on this footage then we will pay them $100,000."
Vivid notes that some of the so-called experts that have stepped forward to comment on the authenticity of the footage have never even met Hendrix. Meanwhile, a former close associate of the musician, who was with him almost every day for two full years says there is no doubt the controversial tape depicts the late rock 'n roll icon having sex with the women.
"I'm positive that we are viewing the real Jimi Hendrix," said Neville Chesters, road manager for Hendrix in the late 60s after viewing "Jimi Hendrix The Sex Tape." "We were all jealous of Jimi's sex life at the time and we were accustomed to seeing him frequently go to his room at night with an entourage of women we called his 'Band of Gypsys,' the same name of his 1969 recording," added Chesters, who also worked with other famous rock groups such as The Who and Cream.
"The late Sixties were socially, sexually and politically charged times. The footage in the Vivid movie looks as if it was shot in about 1968. It would have been difficult to get explicit film processed commercially in the U.S. back then, no less of a bi-racial sex act. So this film was probably developed in Germany and kept hidden because of how incendiary its release could have been."
Cynthia (Plaster Caster) Albritton, one of the experts who authenticated the footage and, who once held Hendrix' penis in her hands while she made a plaster cast of it, said she is certain of her opinion. "No one can pay me any amount of money to say I saw something I didn't see," Albritton told Vivid last week. "Judging from having casted Jimi, in addition to looking at some old photos of him recently, I'm convinced that he is indeed the man seen in this film. Facial aspects such as the muscle around his mouth, the lips, eyebrows and mustache, look like those of Jimi. The angle of the camera somewhat alters his face, which explains why the first few seconds seen in a trailer before the Vivid feature was released has caused some confusion. Also, the hairstyle, body mass, and absence of acne scars make me think that the film was made during the last year of his life."
Albritton also disputed a claim by Hendrix' girlfriend Kathy Etchingham that the 8 mm film was not authentic. "Kathy had only seen stills of the film - not the actual tape which is much clearer." Kathy herself is quoted in the late Curtis Knight's authoritative 1973 book ("An Intimate Biography of Jimi Hendrix") as saying about Jimi, 'He went really crazy about cinefilming,' she said. 'He would also get friends of his to film naked women running around his room.' "I think Kathy still has a hard time talking about Jimi doing all these things and facing the fact that he had other women. It sounds to me that she is still smarting from the pain of memories that he was not always faithful to her."