Youree Dell Harris Received Scrutiny for Her Work as Miss Cleo — How Much Did She Make?
If you were a kid in the '90s, then you know all about those now-infamous "call me now for your free reading" commercials from alleged psychic Miss Cleo.
And now that HBO Max has rolled out a documentary, aptly titled Call Me Miss Cleo, viewers are sure to wonder what happened to the Psychic Friends Network star before her 2016 death and even what Miss Cleo’s net worth was.
What was Miss Cleo’s net worth?
Born in Los Angeles in August 1962, Miss Cleo, whose real name was Youree Dell Harris, also went by Ree Perris, Youree Cleomili, and Cleomili Harris, among other variations. She received considerable scrutiny for her work as Miss Cleo, the psychic handling phone queries on the Psychic Friends Network.
Youree Dell Harris
Net worth: $200,000
Youree Dell Harris was the author of Women Only: A Celebration of Love, Life, and Healing. She garnered considerable criticism for her work as Miss Cleo, attracting a public backlash best compared to scapegoating.
Birthdate: Aug. 12, 1962
Birthplace: Los Angeles, Calif.
Birthname: Youree Dell Cleomili Harris
Father: David Harris
Mother: Alisa Teresa Hopis
Marriages: Youree married at 19, giving birth to a daughter. She divorced at 21. She welcomed her second daughter in her 20s. She publicly came out as a lesbian in a 2006 interview with The Advocate.
Education: University of Southern California
Youree relocated from Los Angeles to Seattle in the earlier stages of her career. During her time there, she performed in and produced plays for the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center. According to NPR, she played a Jamaica-born woman named Cleo in one of the productions. The character would return to her later on in life.
Though there are conflicting reports, her net worth may have been around $200,000.
Inside the fraud allegations: Youree Dell Harris received flack for supposedly scamming callers.
In February 2002, the Federal Trade Commission lodged a complaint against Miss Cleo and the Psychic Friends Network, claiming they racked up a reported $1 billion by engaging in a range of fraudulent marketing tactics.
Calls to Miss Cleo were advertised as free but costed an estimated $4.99 per minute. Miss Cleo was frequently perceived as the head of the shady operation, even though calls to Linda Georgian, another psychic on the network, had an astronomical price tag attached just the same.
In a 2014 interview with Vice, Miss Cleo said she made $1,750 for two and a half days on set.
"They were pulling down — [using] my face, my talent — $24 million a month, for two years straight. For the first 30-minute infomercial I did for them, I made $1,750 for the two and a half days on set," she said. "I had a bad contract. But everybody else thought I had more money than God, and my response to that usually was, 'Well, God is a poor son of a b---h.'"
Inphomation Communications Inc, the parent company of Psychic Friends Network, declared bankruptcy in 1998, with $26 million in liabilities, via Wired. Their harmful business practices served as an inspiration behind Psychic Blues, the 2012 book written by Mark Edward.
What was Miss Cleo’s cause of death in 2016?
In 2016, at the age of 53, Miss Cleo died after a battle with colon cancer. At the time of her death, her rep told TMZ that her colon cancer had spread to her liver and lungs and she died in a Palm Beach hospice facility. Her rep also told the outlet that, when she died, Miss Cleo was in the company of her friends and family.
Miss Cleo had two children.
Miss Cleo is survived by her two children. Unlike their mother, they don't appear to enjoy the spotlight. In fact, not much can be found about them now, years after Miss Cleo’s death.
The HBO Max documentary does shed some light on Miss Cleo’s background and personal life. But, as we all know, the biggest part of her life as we know it was her time with the Psychic Friends Network.
You can watch Call Me Miss Cleo on HBO Max.