‘Yellowstone’ actor charged with disability payment fraud

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Yellowstone” actor Q’Orianka Kilcher has been charged with illegally collecting nearly $97,000 in disability benefits while working on the television show, the media said Monday. authorities.

Kilcher, 32, of North Hollywood, is charged with two counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud, according to a statement from the California Department of Insurance.

Kilcher in 2020 played Angela Blue Thunder for four episodes of Paramount Network Western, which stars Kevin Costner.

She also portrayed Pocahontas in the 2005 film “The New World” and was in “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” in 2019.

While working on “Dora” in October 2018, Kilcher reportedly injured her neck and right shoulder, the insurance department said.

A year later, Kilcher told an insurance claims doctor that she had been offered work but could not take it due to severe neck pain from her injury, the statement said. of the insurance department.

From 2019 to 2021, Kilcher received $96,838 in temporary disability benefits. But an investigation later found that Kilcher worked on “Yellowstone” for several months in 2019 during the time she claimed to be disabled, the department said.

“According to records, she returned to the doctor and began receiving disability benefits five days after she last worked on the show,” the statement read.

Kilcher surrendered and was arraigned in May, the statement said.

In a statement, her attorney, Michael Becker, said Kilcher was a passenger in a production vehicle when she was injured.

“Third-party doctors verified his injury and his entitlement to benefits. Ms. Kilcher has always been upfront with her doctors and healthcare providers…and she never intentionally accepted benefits she didn’t believe she was entitled to,” Becker said.

Kilcher will “defend herself vigorously and demand that she enjoy the presumption of innocence both inside and outside the courthouse,” Becker said.