What Happened To Miss Cleo: Psychic Medium Call Me Miss Cleo, the most recent HBO Max documentary, focuses on Miss Cleo, real name Youree Dell Harris.
As Miss Cleo on the Psychic Readers Network, Harris would scream, “Call me now!” offering free calls for people to have their fortunes told.
But in the early 2000s, Harris and the Psychic Readers Network found themselves in a scandal after being accused of fraud.
Call Me Miss Cleo includes interviews with Harris from 2016 and with Debra Wilson and Raven-Symoné, two of Harris’ famous admirers. Whether Harris knew what she was doing or was being exploited is the subject of the documentary. What Happened To Miss Cleo
What Happened To Miss Cleo?
Miss Cleo was the stage name of Youree Dell Harris, an American television personality. In the United States, she was best known as Miss Cleo, a spokesperson for the psychic pay-per-call service Psychic Readers Network. Between 1997 and 2003, she made multiple television appearances in the network’s advertising.
Her other namesakes included Youree Perris and Cleomili Harris. Harris passed away from colorectal cancer on July 26, 2016. Age-wise, she was 53. Her two children were left behind.
Under the moniker Ree Perris, Harris founded her own theatrical production company in Seattle in 1996, where she also staged several of her original plays.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Harris left Seattle after her final piece, Supper Club Cafe, was a critical and commercial disaster in 1997. It soon became apparent that several of the cast members in her productions had not been paid, with the funds reportedly going to pay for her treatment of bone cancer.
Miss Cleo and Psychic Readers Network Controversy
Harris joined the Psychic Readers Network as Cleo in the middle of the 1990s. She claimed she was a Jamaican shaman while posing as an infomercial psychic on camera.
She invited people to phone the pay-per-minute number to have their fortunes told. She was well known for her tagline, “The cards never lie.”
Accusations of fraudulent advertising and fraud against Miss Cleo and the Psychic Readers Network first surfaced in the late 1990s.
Customers claimed they got emails that said: “You have been given the go-ahead for a Special Tarot Reading from [Miss Cleo]!
You must call right away!” Slate.com reports that actors reading from scripts instead of psychics took these calls.
There were supposedly fees associated with calls that were promoted as free. According to the federal government, The Washington Post reported that Psychic Readers Network customers paid $1 billion in total for the “free” calls.
Access Resource Services (doing business as Psychic Readers Network) was sued in 1999 by the state of North Carolina for fraud and deceptive advertising. Other states, including Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Indiana, were many of the ones that came after.
The proprietors of Access Resource Services and Harris’ promoters, Steven Fader and Peter Stotz were accused of misleading advertising, billing, and collection tactics by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2002.
The FTC discovered that while the Psychic Readers Network did provide free readings to clients, those clients who called a toll-free number were routed to a 900 number and charged $4.99 per minute. According to The Washington Post, nearly 6 million consumers who placed the calls were charged an average of $60.
By eliminating the $500 million debt the customer owed the network and paying the FDC $5 million, Fader and Stotz settled. Additionally, all uncashed checks were given back to clients.
Although Harris wasn’t charged in the lawsuit, it became clear through the various court battles that she wasn’t actually from Jamaica as she had claimed. It turned out that she was born in Los Angeles and that her parents were native Americans.
After her birth information was public, Harris told The Advocate: “I am who I am,” noting that she had roots in Jamaica.
Harris clarified why some people questioned whether she was a psychic: “I consider myself more of a shaman, an elder who gets visions and guides the villagers. My villages are my customers and my students. I look out for this neighborhood. You have to learn a lesson from your time at my table, not only what will happen tomorrow. I also offer house cleansings, blessings, and weddings, including gay and straight unions.”
Post Psychic Readers Network
She appeared as Cleomili Harris in the 2014 film Hotline to talk about her time working at Psychic Readers Network. She also worked in advertising and provided the voice for Auntie Pulet in the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City computer game from 2002.
HBO Max is currently airing Call Me Miss Cleo. Please forward this to your friends if you find it interesting. Newswatchlist.com is the best place to find the latest and updated information about your favorite celebs.