Q’orianka Kilcher, an actress who has appeared in “The New World” and “Yellowstone,” is being prosecuted for allegedly receiving a disability pension despite being able to work.
Kilcher was charged with two counts of fraud in workers’ compensation. She reportedly amassed $96,838 in benefits after injuring her neck and shoulder while filming Dora and the Lost City of Gold.
However, investigators with the California Department of Insurance determined that she was healthy enough to work on “Yellowstone” the following year, during a time when she claimed to be disabled, according to a department press release Monday.
The department announced the charges Monday, although Kilcher was charged on May 27 and pleaded not guilty diversityHer attorney denied the allegations, saying Kilcher “never intentionally accepted benefits that she felt she was not entitled to.”
“As such, Ms. Kilcher will vigorously defend herself and is demanding that she be presumed innocent both inside and outside the courthouse,” said Attorney Michael Becker.
Kilcher is best known for her portrayal of Pocahontas in The New World, the 2005 film directed by Terrence Malick. She also appeared in the title role of Princess Kaiulani, a 2009 film about the colonization of Hawaii; and played Kawillaka, an Inca princess, in the 2019 film “Dora”. She appeared in four episodes of “Yellowstone” in the third season, which aired in 2020.
Kilcher reportedly injured her neck and right shoulder while filming the movie “Dora” in October 2018. Her attorney said she was a passenger in a production vehicle when the injury occurred.
According to the Ministry of Insurance, she went to see a doctor a number of times after that, but did not seek treatment and did not respond to a request from her employer’s insurance company.
Kilcher contacted the insurer for treatment a year later, in October 2019, according to the department. She is said to have told the doctor who processed her application that her neck pain had become so severe that she had been forced to turn down jobs and that she had not worked for a year. She quickly began receiving temporary total disability benefits, the department said.
Investigators later reviewed the payslips and found that Kilcher had worked on “Yellowstone” from July 2019 to October 2019 — just before he sought treatment. That job had ended just five days before the start of benefits collection, according to the department. The doctor later said he would never have approved the payments had he known about her recent work history, the department claimed.
Kilcher’s attorney denied she ever cheated.
“Third-party doctors have reviewed her injury and benefit entitlement,” Becker said in the statement. “MS. Kilcher has always been open with her doctors and treatment providers.”
The lawyer said she also kept her case officer at the Workers’ Compensation Division regularly updated.
Christopher Hartman, a prosecutor with the Los Angeles County Attorney’s Office, is handling the case. Kilcher’s next scheduled court date is August 7th.
https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/qorianka-kilcher-insurance-fraud-1235314093/ Yellowstone actress Q’orianka Kilcher charged with insurance fraud