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Former child actress wins judgment against parents

LOS ANGELES — A judge has granted a judgment of more than $800,000 to a former child actress who portrayed a young Tina Turner in a biopic about the singer and who accused her parents of stealing most of the $1 million their daughter earned during the early part of her career.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Samantha Jessner, in a judgment signed Feb. 3, ordered Phyllis Larrymore-Kelly and Kevin Kelly to pay $767,610 to their daughter, Rae’ven Larrymore Kelly, to compensate her for money the actress maintained her parents took for their own use.

Jessner also directed each parent to pay another $30,000 each to their daughter stemming from the actress’ defamation claims.

Phyllis Kelly formerly served as her daughter’s business manager.

Both parents also must pay $12,500 each to compensate their daughter’s then-fiancee, co-plaintiff Sean Dinwoodie, for his defamation claims. Kelly and Dinwoodie are now married.

The lawsuit was filed in May 2015. Kelly, now 31, played a young Tina Turner in the 1993 film “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” She also had roles in the film “A Time to Kill,” with Samuel L. Jackson and Sandra Bullock, and in the Sam Waterston television series “I’ll Fly Away.”

Kelly’s resume also includes appearances in the television shows “ER,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Roseanne.”

Kelly’s suit alleged her parents used her income “as their personal slush fund to subsidize their own lifestyle and expenses and to invest in their own projects.”

Phyllis Kelly forged her daughter’s signature on bank signature cards and on checks endorsed to the actress, the suit alleged.

When Kelly objected and in February 2015 demanded an accounting of her income, her mother “flatly refused” and said, “I should have aborted you,” according to the lawsuit.

The Kellys disapproved of their daughter’s relationship with Dinwoodie and told his mother that he was “gay or bixsexual” and “produces pornography,” the complaint states.

Kelly’s parents told third parties that their daughter was “performing in pornographic videos” and that she had AIDS and that she was “doing illegal drugs,” according to the lawsuit.

In September, the judge cleared the way for Kelly to seek a default judgment against her parents. The judge found that the defendants repeatedly refused to turn over information sought by attorneys for their daughter.

“The court finds that defendants have willfully disregarded the court’s discovery orders,” Jessner wrote.

In a sworn declaration, Kelly said her parents minimized the amount of money she made.

“Throughout my childhood and as an adult, defendants told me I earned only nominal amounts during my career and that those funds were being held in secure accounts for my benefit,” Kelly said. “In fact, Mrs. Kelly told me that the largest residual check I ever received was $75.”

Kelly said she believed her mother and father.

“I had no reason to think that my own parents were lying or stealing from me,” Kelly said.

She said she has experienced emotional distress from her ordeal.

I am clinically diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder,” she said. “These symptoms have gotten worse as time progresses.”

None of Kelly’s family members attended her wedding because of what her parents said about her, Kelly said.

In his sworn statement, Dinwoodie said his reputation was harmed by the alleged statements by Kelly’s parents that he is gay.

“I am known in the community as leading a Christian life and these false statements about my sexuality and associations with pornography injured my occupation,” Dinwoodie said.