Nina Simone’s Family Blame Kamala Harris For Taking Singer’s Estate Away From Them
BERTRAND GUAY / AFP via Getty Images
Nina Simone's daughter and grandchildren have announced they will no longer be silent, claiming that their estate has been "stolen" from them and they blame Vice President Kamala Harris.
It started on Friday evening when RéAnna Simone Kelly, the daughter of Simone's daughter Lisa Simone Kelly, praised Chlöe Bailey's sexy interpretation of the singer's legendary song "Feeling Good".
"Everyone comes to @ChloeBailey for their gig ... But what you don't understand is that Grandma was a free-spirited woman herself," RéAnna tweeted. “She would have loved this performance as much as I did! Relax. Chloe killed it. "
"Grandma was unmistakably herself," she added in a follow-up tweet. “She was one hell of a badass woman who did what she wanted, when she wanted. She was a sexual woman and she expressed that. Educate yourself! If Grandma could, she would probably have done this performance herself. "
Still scrolling through comments about Simone and her legacy, RéAnna came across a tweet asking why her estate would create a Twitter account for the singer years after her death in 2003 - and she decided it was finally on the time was to express their grievances.
“As her family, we no longer manage her estate,” explained the 22-year-old. “It was taken away from us and given to white people. Our family name was DRAWN in the media. We do NOT get any license fees, nothing. Do you want to hold someone accountable? Ask Kamala Harris why she came to my family. "
The legendary jazz singer's family quarrel with Harris dates back to 2013, when Harris was serving as California's attorney general. After Simone's death, Kelly was appointed administrator of her estate and a charitable foundation that Simone had established. It was Simone's last wish for the charity to support the musical education of black children in Africa.
But in 2013, Kelly was charged with violating "her duty of trust" to both the estate and the trust, allegedly pulling up to $ 2 million from the coffers, including a $ 1.5 million deposit into her personal company, according to court records verified by The Daily Beast.
Harris oversaw the case and went hard on Kelly, eventually trying to charge her nearly $ 6 million plus more than $ 2.5 million in interest. Eventually the parties came to an agreement: Kelly was stripped of her administrator and she agreed to surrender her rights to Simone's works. Nor could she say or imply that she was linked to her mother's legacy and legacy.
This never really suited Kelly and her children when RéAnna hit Harris in her tweetstorm, accusing the politician of separating her family, stealing her family's rights and leaving the property in ruins.
"Ask her why she harassed my mother in court and my mother nearly killed herself from the depression," she said. “Ask her why my mother put a gag order on her and can't talk about these things. Ask her why she didn't want my mother to be able to say that she is Nina Simone's daughter. Ask her why she wanted us to leave with NOTHING. "
RéAnna said Harris twisted the knife even further when John Legend performed "Feeling Good" the night President Joe Biden and Harris were inaugurated.
“My grandmother created something beautiful with her life when she was here on this earth, despite all her pain,” RéAnna concluded. “I am SO PROUD of your legacy !! I am so proud to be your grandson. But I feel separate from my legacy. As if it wasn't even mine. "
On Saturday, Kelly took to Instagram to stand by RéAnna and proudly said she had "started a fire".
"I support everything she said," said Kelly. “She speaks her truth; she speaks the truth about our family. "
"Although I may not be able to speak about certain things, those close to me who have witnessed the events firsthand choose to move forward with the truth," she added in her caption. "For those who believe everything they read in the media, you have been misled."
"It's very frustrating," Kelly's son Alexander Simone told The Daily Beast, making it clear that while his mother has a say in Simone's estate, the family is largely excluded from any discussions about projects with Simone. When Zoe Saldana was cast for the role of Simone in a biopic about her life in 2016 Nina, the family was outraged and had no say.
Alexander declined to clarify who exactly was in control of the property. When Kelly stepped down as administrator, the court appointed the Los Angeles-based San Pasqual Fiduciary Trust Company as special administrator of the estate and made the firm the trustee of Simone's charitable trust.
"Nothing comes back to us," he explained. “Nothing, no recognition. We're kind of overlooked. It's sad, but it's been happening for so long that we've learned to live with it. Everyone else benefits from our family name and nothing really came into the family. "
“As for royalties or anything to do, it doesn't come back to us. It goes straight to the property. It's hard sometimes to fight a fight they tried. It shouldn't be a fight at all. "
Read more at The Daily Beast.
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