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Nina Simone's Daughter Defends Zoe Saldana in Biopic Movie: "She's Not Responsible"

by Wanda J Coppage   Mar 4, 2016 16:12 PM EST

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Actress Zoe Saldana has been under fire lately for her role portraying the late singer and activist, Nina Simone, in the biopic soon to be released in April of 2016, based on her life, relationships and career. Though Saldana has received more negative feedback than positive, Simone's own daughter is speaking out on the actress' behalf, citing that she is not the one who's responsible for the many faults that people find with the film.

Simone's daughter, Leslie Simone Kelly, recently sat down for an interview with Time to address her feelings about the RSL Entertainment distributed biopic, Nina. Thought most of the recent harsh criticism has been geared toward Saldana, Kelly believes that it's not her fault, but rather the fault of the creator of the film that Kelly says is full of lies about her mother.

"Everything from the first scene when she's strapped to a gurney is a lie," revealed Simone's only child.

The 49-year-old explained how she felt numb while watching the film and could only express her concern and empathy for Saldana and her involvement with the project. "I really didn't feel much of anything except for poor Zoe," she explained.

Kelly, who is among the few not bashing Saldana for her lack of physical likeness to the North Carolina born legend (or for accepting the role in the first place), actually commended the actress for her performance and the enthusiasm that she added to the role, despite all of the alleged misconceptions and lies throughout the movie.

"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," explained Kelly.

Saldana, who is seen in the film in "black face" by use of dark makeup to allow her complexion to show more of a likeness to Simone, was recently slammed on Twitter by someone operating the Nina Simone estate account, who nastily responded to a post of Saldana's quoting Simone.

According to Variety, Saldana posted the quote, "I'll tell you what freedom is to me - No Fear...I mean really no fear," taken from the film, which received a response requesting that Saldana "take Nina's name out of [her] mouth."

Kelly responded to the Twitter post from the estate's account, revealing that she's unsure of who is in charge of operating it at this point. According to the Time interview, the Twitter and Facebook accounts were once operated by Aaron Overfield, a family friend, but recent attempts to contact him were unsuccessful.

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