LOS ANGELES (CN) – A child actress’ parents swiped $1 million from her and tried to ruin her relationship with her fiancé by saying she has AIDS, Rae’ven Kelly claims in court.
Kelly appeared on a host of TV shows in the 1990s, including “ER,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and “Roseanne,” and in “Ghosts of Mississippi” and other movies.
She and her fiancé Sean Dinwoodie sued Kelly’s parents Phyllis Larrymore-Kelly, Kevin Kelly and Kevin Kelly Enterprises, on May 20 in Superior Court.
Her mother was her business manager “since she started her prolific acting career as a child,” but Kelly says in the complaint she fired her recently when she found out she “stole and embezzled almost everything” from her.
Rae’ven A’ylia Kelly’s professional name is Rae’ven Larrymore Kelly. She got her first big role when she was 8, playing a young Tina Turner in 1993 in “What’s Love Got To Do With It.”
Kelly claims that her parents told her that she earned “only nominal amounts” during her career and that they were holding the money for her in secure accounts. But she says she found out that she’s earned $1 million in her career, but has seen “almost none” of it.
She claims that her mother told her that the largest check she received was for $75, though a Screen Actors Guild residual report showed she earned $730,900 through April 2014.
She claims her parents used her money as their personal “slush fund.” Her mother “even committed bank fraud by forging bank signature cards and endorsing checks issued to Rae’Ven by forging Rae’Ven’s signature,” the complaint states.
She says the bank accounts were “mysteriously” zeroed out and closed “a few days after” she fired her mother. When she asked her parents for an accounting this year, they told her, “We are not talking about money with you,” and her mother added: “I should have just aborted you,” Kelly says in the complaint.
The Kellys are black. Rae’ven claims that her parents disapproved of her relationship with Dinwoodie, who is white, and “did everything possible” to break them up.
“Phyllis and Kevin began to emotionally abuse Rae’Ven by telling her things like she is ugly; the only reason that Dinwoodie is dating her is for her money; that she is an ‘ungrateful heifer’; and that when Phyllis dies, Rae’Ven should not attend the funeral because Rae’Ven would be the reason for Phyllis’ death,” the complaint states. Attempting to “ruin” her reputation and “sabotage” her relationship, her parents told friends and relatives that Rae’Ven “has AIDS,” that she makes porn films, and that her fiancé is a gay pornographer, Kelly says in the complaint.
This is particularly defamatory, the couple claim, because Dinwoodie is “known in the community as leading a Christian life,” and is producing a film about a Christian pastor, whom Phyllis allegedly called to denounce Dinwoodie as “gay or bisexual.”
Kelly claims that her credit was damaged as the result of delinquent student loan payments caused by the embezzlement.
She wants her parents “held to account for their bizarre, abusive, and corrupt behavior.”
She and Dinwoodie seek punitive damages for fraud, defamation, conversion and breach of fiduciary duty.
They are represented by Navid Soleymani with Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani, who did not immediately to requests for comment.
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