Miss Cleo introduced an entire generation to tarot cards and psychic hotlines. In the late ’90s to the early ’00s she was a fixture in late night TV infomercials, where she encouraged people to embrace the paranormal and to give psychic reading a try. “Call me now!” was the Miss Cleo character’s famous catchphrase, but the woman behind the character was named was Youree Dell Harris, but she continued using the Miss Cleo name long after the infomercials were over.
Most people knew her from the Miss Cleo character who was a spokeswoman for psychic networks, but she was a lot more than that.
Her Jamaican accent and her tell-it-like-it-is attitude earned her a permanent fixture in pop culture, but not without controversy.
Eventually, the advertisements stopped showing up when the company got into some hot water with the FTC, resulting in a fine of five million dollars.
Miss Cleo wasn’t charged with anything during the lawsuit, she parted ways from the company unscathed, save for some negative publicity.
Her birth certificate showed that she was actually born in LA, and colleagues from the local theater scene have commented that the famous accent from Jamaica wasn’t even real.
Members of the theater scene have also commented that she had cheated them out of money in the past.
It’s easy to pile on to somebody’s mistakes once they’re gone, but regardless of some of the accusations, she managed to help a lot of people, too.
Close friends have commented that the lawsuit and other public issues were really upsetting to her, she didn’t like people having the wrong idea about her.
She continued to offer readings up until at least 2009, according to an interview with Spokesman Magazine.
However, she stopped calling herself a psychic or a tarot reader and instead chose the designation voodoo priestess.
Rest in peace, voodoo priestess.