LOS ANGELES –
“Yellowstone” actress Q’orianka Kilcher has been charged with illegally collecting nearly $97,000 in disability benefits while working for the television show, authorities announced Monday.
Kilcher, 32, of North Hollywood, was charged with two counts of fraud against workers’ compensation insurance, according to a statement from the California Department of Insurance.
Kilcher in 2020 played Angela Blue Thunder in four episodes of Paramount Network Western, starring Kevin Costner.
She also played Pocahontas in the movie “The New World” in 2005 and in the movie “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” in 2019.
While working on “Dora” in October 2018, Kilcher allegedly injured his neck and right shoulder, the insurance department said.
A year later, Kilcher told a claim-processing doctor that she had been offered the job but was unable to accept the job because her injury caused severe neck pain, according to the insurance department’s statement.
Between 2019 and 2021, Kilcher receives $96,838 in temporary disability benefits. But a subsequent investigation found that Kilcher worked on “Yellowstone” for several months in 2019 around the time she claimed to be disabled, the department said.
“According to records, she returned to her doctor and began receiving disability benefits five days after she last worked on the program,” the statement said.
Kilcher surrendered and was charged in May, the statement said.
In a statement, her attorney, Michael Becker, said that Kilcher was a passenger on the production vehicle when she was injured.
“Third party doctors verified her injury and entitlement. Ms. Kilcher has always been frank with her doctors and treatment providers … and she never knowingly accepted benefits she didn’t believe she was entitled to,” Becker said.
Kilcher will “strongly defend herself and demand that she afford to be found innocent both in and out of court,” Becker said.