Korianka Kilcher at the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, November 3, 2019. Matt Baron/Shutterstock
Yellowstone actress Korianka Kilcher has been charged with worker compensation fraud after allegedly claiming disability benefits despite working on the Paramount+ series.
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“An investigation conducted by the California Department of Insurance revealed that Kilcher allegedly violated the law by receiving more than $90,000 in disability benefits,” according to a press release transmitted by KTLA on Monday, July 11.
The 32-year-old alienist actress allegedly injured her neck and shoulder during the filming of Dora and the Lost Golden City in October 2018, and although she received medical attention for the injury, she reportedly stopped seeing a doctor soon after. The department claims that a year later, Kilcher contacted the insurance company again, saying that she needed additional treatment and she was forced to give up work because of the incessant pain.
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Although after this conversation, the New World star began receiving temporary disability benefits, investigators claim that she worked at Yellowstone from July to October 2019, despite the fact that she was too traumatized to work for a year after the incident.
“According to the records, she [then] returned to the doctor and began receiving disability benefits five days after her last job on the series,” officials said in a statement. The doctor who examined the activist also stated that if they had known about her work experience, they would not have prescribed disability benefits. According to the report, Kilcher allegedly received $96,838 in undeserved disability benefits from October 14, 2019 to September 9, 2021.
Kilcher surrendered to the authorities, and in May appeared in court on charges. Her next court date is set for August 7. Although she has not publicly commented on the investigation, Kilcher’s lawyer Michael Becker told the Associated Press that she would “vigorously defend herself” against the charges.
“Third-party doctors confirmed her injury and her right to benefits. Ms. Kilcher has always been open with her doctors and health care providers… and she has never intentionally taken benefits to which, in her opinion, she was not entitled,” he said in a statement on Tuesday, July 12. “[Kilcher] will vigorously defend herself and asks that she be given the presumption of innocence both inside and outside the courthouse.”
Kilcher played Angela Blue Thunder along with Kevin Costner in four episodes of the series “Yellowstone”, which aired in the fall of 2020. “It’s such an amazing, powerful role written for an Indian woman,” she told Decider in November 2020 about her role. “I was so flattered. It was pretty cool to come on the show and play such a role.”
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She continued, “She has a really strong voice because she’s the kind of person who wants to do everything right. This is her goal in life. She wants to return to her community, even though she tried to leave the past behind. However, when she comes back, she does it very strongly because she wants to change the situation. She wants to return the land to her people. That’s what drives her.”