CA officials: ‘Yellowstone’ actor got disability benefits


FILE – Q’orianka Kilcher arrives at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles. The ‘Yellowstone’ actor Kilcher has been charged with illegally collecting nearly $97,000 in disability benefits while working on the TV show, authorities said Monday, July 11, 2022. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

An actor is accused of collecting thousands of dollars in disability benefits after saying an injury left her unable to work while filming hit TV show ‘Yellowstone’.

The actor – Q’orianka Kilcher – is now charged with insurance fraud, according to the California Department of Insurance.

“California law prohibits misrepresenting injuries to medical providers to collect workers’ compensation benefits, but the investigation found that Kilcher was working on ‘Yellowstone’ during the time she told a doctor that she had been too injured to work,” officials wrote on Monday, July 11. in a press release.

The actor’s attorney, Michael Becker, told The Associated Press that she “will vigorously defend herself and asks to be granted the presumption of innocence inside and outside the courthouse. “.

The allegations date back to October 2018, when California officials said Kilcher reported injuring her neck and shoulder while working on the movie ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’. A year later, she reportedly contacted an insurance company.

“Kilcher told the doctor treating her claim that she had been offered work since her injury occurred but could not accept it because her neck pain was too severe,” wrote officials in their press release. “Based on Kilcher’s statements to the doctor, she began receiving temporary total disability benefits.”

Although she reported that she was unable to work, officials said that Kilcher during this period starred in “Yellowstone” from July to October 2019. After filming ended, she began to collect $96,838 in disability benefits she didn’t deserve, according to the state insurance department.

She is accused of having collected the payments from October 2019 to last September.

“Third-party physicians have verified his injury and his entitlement to benefits,” Becker said in a statement, according to The Associated Press. “Ms. Kilcher was always upfront with her doctors and healthcare providers…and she never intentionally accepted benefits she didn’t believe she was entitled to.

Kilcher played the character Angela Blue Thunder in four episodes of “Yellowstone,” a show about national park title and a rancher who fights to protect his land. She also starred as Pocahontas in “The New World,” which premiered in 2005, according to IMDb.

Kilcher, a 32-year-old North Hollywood resident, faces two counts of “workers’ compensation insurance fraud,” officials said. His next court date is set for August.

This story has been updated to reflect when she started receiving payments.

This story was originally published July 12, 2022 8:38 a.m.

Simone Jasper is a reporter who covers breaking news for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.

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