Yellowstone actress Q'Orianka Kilcher charged with illegally receiving workers' comp worth nearly $97,000
Yellowstone actress Q'Orianka Kilcher was charged with two felony counts of workers' compensation fraud after collecting nearly $97,000 in disability benefits, the California Department of Insurance announced Monday.
Michael Becker, an attorney for the actress, says in a statement to EW that she plans to "vigorously defend herself and asks that she be afforded the presumption of innocence both in and outside the courthouse."
Kilcher had allegedly injured her neck and right shoulder during filming on the movie Dora and the Lost City of Gold in October 2018. She saw a doctor that year but stopped treatment and did not respond to the insurance company handling her claim on behalf of her employer, according to the California Department of Insurance. Kilcher then contacted the insurance company a year later in October 2019 about needing treatment.
Kilcher allegedly told the doctor handling the claim that she had been offered work but that she couldn't accept it because of her neck pain. The state's investigation determined Kilcher had in fact accepted work as an actress on Yellowstone from July-October 2019.
The Department of Insurance states Kilcher received $96,838 in "undeserved disability payments" from Oct. 14, 2019 to Sept. 9, 2021.
"Third-party doctors verified her injury and entitlement to benefits," Kilcher's attorney continues in the statement. "Ms. Kilcher was at all times candid with her doctors and treatment providers…and she never intentionally accepted benefits that she did not believe she was entitled to."
Kilcher played Angela Blue Thunder in four episodes of Yellowstone that streamed on Paramount+ in 2020. She's also known for her role on TNT's The Alienist, and she most recently appeared with Channing Tatum in the 2022 film Dog.
Kilcher self-surrendered and was arraigned on May 27 earlier this year.