Nina Simone, known as the high priestess of soul and revered for her haunting lyrics that commented on the treatment of women and the tragic plight of African-Americans, was also known by her daughter, Lisa Celeste Simone, as a “monster.” Nina Simone battled depression and alcoholism and the result was a strained relationship between Simone and her daughter. But why is Nina’s daughter dragging her name through the mud 11 years after her death?
Lisa told DailyMailUK, “I was not a happy child when I was alone with her. My mum shot me down a lot, attacked me in public. It is easy to attack children, they are small and depend on you.” Typically after someone dies, celebrity or not, people are often very respectful when remembering them. We drum up fond memories and recall their most saint-like moments. This is not the case with Nina’s only daughter.
Lisa recalled when her mother wasn’t dragging her around the world on tour, she was “blackmailed and beaten.” While it’s fine to express yourself and share whatever intimate moments of your life that you want with the media, however I am very confused as to why Lisa thought that sharing these details was necessary. In reading the full article, it felt pointless, especially when Lisa went on to defend her mother’s legacy “The goal [of the biopic] seems to be to bleed me dry of everything my mother stood for, of everything she sacrificed. She had many experiences in her life that left her feeling sad and angry…” But this was hidden within the article after several finger-pointing quotes.
Lisa made headlines last year when reports claimed that she stole $2 million from her mother’s estate. Nina’s will named her tax adviser, Mark Lenniman as her executor and in response, Lisa sued. A judgment is expected in a Californian court later this summer that will help determine whether Lisa will finally win control over her late mother’s estate.
Nina Simone’s biopic was a large topic since last year when it was announced that Zoe Saldana would be playing the dark-skinned, wide nose songstress. Many people voiced their disdain for Saldana to act in the leading role, including Lisa. “Zoe Saldana portraying her is a bad joke because there are more gifted actresses who are more in keeping with my mother’s appearance. I know how my mother would feel about Zoe, so they are making a mockery of her experiences to construct their own truth.”