‘Yellowstone’ actress charged with fraud after allegedly collecting over $96K in disability payments
Q’orianka Kilcher starred as Angela Blue Thunder, a lawyer introduced during ‘Yellowstone’s’ Season 3
An actress known for her work on Paramount’s hit series “Yellowstone” has been charged with fraud after she allegedly collected over $96,000 in disability benefits.
On Monday, the California Department of Insurance announced Q’orianka Kilcher, 32, had been charged with two felony counts of workers’ compensation insurance fraud after investigators say she appeared on “Yellowstone” despite telling a doctor she was unable to work due to injuries sustained on another production.
The actress suggested in a social media post there’s more to the story.
Kilcher starred as Angela Blue Thunder, a lawyer introduced during “Yellowstone’s” Season 3 to improve conditions and conspire against the show’s antagonists on the fictional Broken Rock Reservation.
Much of “Yellowstone” Season 3 was filmed in Utah, shot in places like Oakley, Heber City, Logan, Spanish Fork and Grantsville. However, the production packed up and moved to Montana to film Season 4, citing Utah’s film incentive program not offering the same rebate it did for seasons prior.
Kilcher injured her neck and shoulder in 2018 while acting in the movie “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” officials said. She initially saw a doctor, but the actress “stopped treatment and did not respond to the insurance company handling her claim on behalf of her employer,” according to a news release from the California Department of Insurance, the lead investigative body.
Then in October 2019, officials say Klicher contacted the insurance company and told them she had been offered work in the wake of her injury, but was unable to accept because of the pain in her neck. Based on her statements, Klicher started receiving total disability benefits.
But from July to October 2019 — which is when Klicher told a doctor she was unable to accept the job — she starred in “Yellowstone.”
Just five days after she stopped working on the show, she returned to the doctor and started receiving disability benefits, investigators say. From October 2019 through September 2021, Klicher received $96,838.
Kilcher “self-surrendered” and was arraigned on May 27, 2022. Her attorney appeared in court Monday on her behalf and her next scheduled court date is August 7, 2022.
Klicher has long championed human rights and indigenous issues in the U.S. One of her more recent Instagram posts read “No more stolen sisters” in reference to the 5,000-plus cases of missing Native American women and girls across the U.S.
On Tuesday, not long after the news of her legal troubles broke, Klicher posted an image that read: “So you only heard one side of the story and chose to believe it. Well now, that makes you as smart as paste doesn’t it.”
The Department of Insurance says from FY 2020 to 2021, workers’ compensation fraud resulted in a potential loss of $161,947,968, “costing California businesses and increasing costs to workers.”