Actor Q’orianka Kilcher has been cleared of allegations that she illegally collected $96,838 in workers compensation benefits.
Kilcher, who has appeared on “Yellowstone” and starred in the Terrence Malick film “The New World,” was charged last spring with two felony counts of insurance fraud.
Kilcher was injured while filming “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” in 2018. The California Department of Insurance later alleged that she had worked on “Yellowstone” during a time when she claimed her injury made it impossible for her to work.
But a Los Angeles judge threw out the charges on Friday after prosecutors announced that they could not proceed with the case.
“After the charges were filed, the Workers Compensation Insurance claims adjuster retroactively changed his conclusion regarding her ability to work,” a D.A. spokesperson said in a statement. “We therefore determined that Ms. Kilcher did not commit insurance fraud and advised the court that we were unable to proceed.”
Kilcher was represented by Camille Vasquez and Stephen Cook of Brown Rudnick LLP. They said they worked for the last six months to investigate the case and present the facts of the matter. In a statement, they said they were pleased that the D.A. had decided to drop the charges.
“The decision is a true victory, and while we are gratified that Ms. Kilcher’s innocence has been vindicated, the truth is that the California Department of Insurance should never have brought this case, and Ms. Kilcher should never have been subjected to this ordeal,” the attorneys said. “Having been cleared, Ms. Kilcher is excited to move forward and devote her attention to her flourishing career.”
Kilcher also aims to use her experience “shed light on the experiences of other workers who have been injured in the workplace,” her reps said in a statement.
“Today, I am beyond grateful that my case has been dismissed – tomorrow my journey begins to help raise awareness and demand more transparency for worker’s rights within the workers comp system,” Kilcher said. “I want to thank my attorneys, Camille Vasquez and Steve Cook, for their steadfast belief in my innocence – without their advocacy, we would not be here today. Finally, I want to thank my family, friends, fans, and fellow industry peers whose support has kept me going. I look forward to shedding more light on this experience and continuing to do the work I love.”