Nina Simone’s granddaughter says Kamala Harris ‘bullied’ her mother to the point she ‘almost killed herself’
Nina Simone’s granddaughter said the singer’s estate was “taken away” from her family by Kamala Harris, and said Harris bullied her mother until she “almost killed herself.”
“Nina’s granddaughter here. My family doesn’t run her estate anymore. It was taken away from us & given to white people. Our family name was DRAGGED in the media. We get NO royalties, nothing. Wanna hold someone accountable?Ask Kamala Harris why she came for my family #NinaSimone,” RéAnna Simone Kelly tweeted.
Kelly accused Harris, who was the California Attorney General at the time, of taking away her family’s rights to her grandmother’s estate and of bullying her mother, Lisa Simone Kelly, in court to the point where she almost killed herself due to depression. Lisa Simone Kelly was made administrator of Simone’s estate and charitable trust she had established after the singer’s death in 2003.
Court documents show Lisa was accused of “breaching her fiduciary duty” to both the estate and the trust, resulting in her losing control of them.
Harris’ office sought to charge Lisa Simone Kelly for nearly $6 million, added on top of that $2.5 million in interest. Harris eventually reached a settlement with Simone’s daughter, who was forced to give up her role as administrator and agreed to relinquish all her rights to her mother’s work.
“As I said before, Ask her why she separated my family. Ask her why my grandmothers estate is in SHAMBLES now. Ask her why we as her family no longer own the rights to anything. Ask her why she bullied my mother in court and my mom almost killed herself from the depression,” Kelly’s twitter thread continued.
“&ask yourself this question. With grandma Nina being as famous as she is. With all of these artists covering her. Her name & likeness being used by damn near everybody. Why is it that her family is living paycheck to paycheck? Why do I have to consider stripping to pay my bills?” She added.
“OH WAIT, While we’re asking Kamala questions ask her why after all of this pain and suffering she put us through a Nina Simone song was sang at the inauguration to swear her in as VP?! She knew what she was doing,” another tweet read.
Lisa Simone Kelly posted a video on Instagram saying her daughter’s comments have “started a fire” and that she stands by everything that she said. “She’s speaking her truth, she’s speaking the truth of our family,” she said.
Nina Simone’s career in the music industry spanned over four decades, earning her four Grammy nominations, inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Grammy Hall of Fame Award. In 2019, Simone’s song “Mississippi Goddam” was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.