Nina Simone’s Granddaughter Calls Out Kamala Harris Over Estate Dispute

Nina Simone’s granddaughter isn’t biting her tongue. 

As pointed out by the Daily Beast, RéAnna Simone Kelly hit up Twitter this weekend to express her frustration over her late grandmother’s estate, claiming it is now controlled by white people rather than her family. Although Kelly didn’t provide specific details about the dispute, she did name the individual who was allegedly responsible for her family’s “pain and suffering”: Kamala Harris.

But let’s rewind a bit. Kelly made the accusations after she had defended Chloe Bailey’s rendition of Simone’s 1964 song “Feeling Good.” 

Shortly after that post, one Twitter user asked why Simone’s family would create an official Twitter account for the singer/activist, who died three years before the platform had launched. It was at that time Kelly shed some more light on the estate drama and chose to put the vice president on blast.

“Nina’s granddaughter here. My family doesn’t run her estate anymore,” she wrote. “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.”

Kelly went on to say Harris, who served as the California Attorney General between 2011-2017, had “separated” her family and effectively left Simone’s estate “in shambles.” She accused the VP of “bullying” her mother in court and leaving her family in a precarious financial position.

“Ask her why [Harris] didn’t even want my mom to be able to say she was Nina Simone’s daughter. Ask her why she wanted us to walk away with NOTHING …” Kelly 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?”

Kelly’s mother, Lisa Simone Kelly, shared an Instagram video in response to her daughter’s comments. She didn’t mention the battle over the estate or name-drop Harris, but made it clear she fully supported her loved-ones who are speaking their truth.

According to the Daily Beast, Lisa Simone Kelly was named administrator of Simone’s estate after the singer’s death, but lost control after she was accused of “breaching her fiduciary duty.” Prosecutors claimed Lisa Simone Kelly had misappropriated funds tied to the estate and a charitable trust in Simone’s name. Harris’ office ultimately reached a settlement with Simone’s daughter, who agreed to give up her role as estate administrator and relinquish her rights to her mother’s work.

You can read Kelly’s tweets on the matter below.

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