On December 15, 2022, a new HBO Max documentary titled “Call Me Miss Cleo” about American actress and television personality Youree Dell Harris will be premiered.

The movie Miss Cleo looks at a lawsuit that was brought against her promoters in 2001 and 2002 by the Missouri attorney general and other people. In February 2002, the Federal Trade Commission brought a lawsuit against Miss Cleo in a federal district court.

Phone me HuffPost gave Miss Cleo a mixed assessment, however it is appreciated for bringing up issues with fraud. The movie addresses explicitly the issue of whether something is a fraud “if the victims are consenting participants,” according to the website.

However, questions over whether the actress who played Miss Cleo did time in prison due to legal activities involving the corporations that controlled the brand linger for people considering attending the movie.

Miss Cleo
Image Source: people

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Who Was Miss Cleo? Her Bio

Youree Dell Harris, who went by the moniker Miss Cleo, was born in Los Angeles on August 12, 1962.

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Image Source: npr.org

She worked as the spokesman for the pay-per-call psychic service Psychic Readers Network. Harris appeared in several TV commercials for the network from 1997 through 2003 in the guises Cleomili Harris, Youree Perris, and Miss Cleo.

A Catholic Afro-Caribbean household in Los Angeles brought up Harris. As CNN noted in their piece on Miss Cleo’s passing, her company’s website had previously stated that she was born “in the Trelawny district of Jamaica.”

She began working for the Psychic Readers Network as Cleo in the late 1990s. Prior to her death from colorectal cancer in July 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida, she received hospice care. Miss Cleo was 53 years old.

Did Miss Cleo Ever Go To Jail?

No, Harris was not named in the lawsuits that the FTC and others, like Missouri’s attorney general, brought against the people who promoted Miss Cleo.

Access Resource Services Inc. and Psychic Readers Network, both of Florida, agreed to refund all uncashed checks, erase $500 million in consumer debt, and pay a $5 million fine, according to a Consumer Affairs report from November 2002.

Actress Harris, who played Miss Cleo, asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. According to a birth certificate, she was born in Los Angeles to American parents, not Jamaica as she purportedly claimed in the late-night infomercials that made her famous.

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Image Source: nytimes

Even though Youree Dell Harris was never jailed due to the legal procedures, the companies who sold the Miss Cleo line of clothing also made agreements with authorities in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, and Pennsylvania.

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Why did the Missouri state attorney general think that the network “bilked” its users?

In the case filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, Access Resource Services Inc. was charged with falsely advertising some of the network’s services.

However, the company is charged with paying callers while they waited or obtaining customer information.

According to CNN, Jay Nixon also alleged that the company had charged clients for calls that, for a variety of reasons, did not result in readings.

Calls made by minors without their parents’ consent are one example. According to the source, Nixon stated that some customers had received payments from the company for discussions that supposedly took place “after their death.”

In a statement released in February 2002, the Federal Trade Commission said that the people who promoted Miss Cleo had used dishonest billing, advertising, and collection methods six months earlier.

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