“Nina’s granddaughter here. My family doesn’t run her estate anymore,” Kelly wrote in response to a Twitter asking why the late singer had a Twitter account. “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 accused Harris of “bullying” her mother into resigning as the administrator and trustee of the estate while she was the California Attorney General between 2011-2017. She claimed Harris “separated” her family and left Nina Simone’s estate, and the family’s financial condition, “in shambles.”
“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 added. “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?”
Following Nina Simone’s death, her daughter Lisa Simone Kelly was named the administrator of the estate. However, Lisa lost control after she was accused of misappropriating funds tied to the estate and a charitable trust in her mother’s name. Lisa agreed to relinquish her rights to her mother’s work after reaching a settlement with Harris’ office.