Not All of Nina Simone's Loved Ones Are Against Zoe Saldana's Portrayal

(Photo from left: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ELLE, Ron Howard/Redferns)

Not All of Nina Simone's Loved Ones Are Against Zoe Saldana's Portrayal

One of the legend's closest living relatives has another problem with the project, though.

Published March 4, 2016

Zoe Saldana has been slammed all week after the trailer for the forthcoming biopic where she portrays the legendary Nina Simone was released. The singer's estate and fans alike came at the actress's neck for accepting the role, but Simone's daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, is coming to Zoe's defense, saying that the hate is completely unnecessary.

"It's unfortunate that Zoe Saldana is being attacked so viciously when she is someone who is part of a larger picture," she told Time. "It's clear she brought her best to this project, but unfortunately she's being attacked when she's not responsible for any of the writing or the lies." 

Though Simone Kelly has no problem with Zoe's portrayal of her mother, she isn't happy with the project overall since it focuses on a relationship between her mother and her then-manager Clifton Henderson that she says is completely fake. 

"The movie is about a relationship between my mother and Clifton that never took place," she said. "They never had an amorous relationship. The project has been tainted from the very beginning. Clearly, it is not the truth about my mother's life and everyone now knows that. This is not how you want your loved ones remembered." 

Simone Kelly isn't the first to come to Zoe's defense. Yesterday, it was reported that BET founder and the film's distributor Robert Johnson is urging fans to give the project a chance. 

Watch the actress talk about the backlash in our exclusive interview below: is your No. 1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music. 

Written by Moriba Cummings

(Photo top: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ELLE, Ron Howard/Redferns, Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)


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