Nina Simone's daughter defends Zoe Saldana

BANG Showbiz

NINA Simone's daughter has defended Zoe Saldana following the backlash over Zoe playing the late singer.

The 37-year-old actress plays the civil rights activist - who died in 2003 aged 70 - in the upcoming film, 'Nina', and while her estate has slammed Zoe's casting, Nina's daughter Lisa Simone Kelly insists the controversy is not Zoe's fault.

She told Time magazine: "It's unfortunate that Zoe Saldana is being attacked so viciously when she is someone who is part of a larger picture. 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."

However, Lisa is upset about the movie, insisting that it is based on lies, specifically the claims that Nina had a romantic relationship with her manager Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo).

She added: "The movie is about a relationship between my mother and Clifton that never took place. They never had an amorous relationship. The project has been tainted from the very beginning. Clearly, it is not the truth about my mother's life and everyone now knows that. This is not how you want your loved ones remembered."

Lisa's comments come after representatives for Nina's estate slammed the star, asking her to never mention Nina's name again.

Zoe tweeted a quote from the singer after the trailer was released, writing: "I'll tell you what freedom is to me - No Fear.. I mean really, no fear #NinaSimone (sic)"

But the official Nina Simone Twitter account, which is now run by her estate, posted a reply to the comment saying: "cool story but please take Nina's name out your mouth. For the rest of your life (sic)"

Shortly afterwards, another tweet on Nina's account appeared to be referring to the trailer.

It read: "Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing. It shall pass, but for now... (sic)"

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