Youree Dell Harris (born August 12, 1962), better known as Miss Cleo, is an American psychic and alleged shaman who achieved fame as a spokeswoman for a psychic pay-per-call service from 1997 to 2003.
Harris has used aliases throughout her career, including Cleomili Harris and Youree Perris.
Early life and career
In 1996, in Seattle, Washington, Harris and her partner opened a production company which produced several of her plays. She acted in her first project, an autobiographical play entitled Women Only: A Celebration of Love, Life and Healing.
Her last project, Supper Club Cafe, was not successful, and she “left town with a trail of debts and broken promises”. Some of the cast of her productions claimed that they were never paid, and that Harris “told her cast members she had bone cancer” and “her medical costs would prevent her from paying people immediately”, but she wrote each actor and crew member a letter telling him or her how much money she owed them.
Psychic Readers Network
In the late 1990s, Harris began to work for the Psychic Readers Network under the name Cleo. She appeared as a television infomercial psychic in which she claimed she was from Jamaica.
The Psychic Readers Network is said to have coined the title “Miss Cleo” and sent unsolicited emails, some of which stated, “[Miss Cleo has] been authorized to issue you a Special Tarot Reading!… it is vital that you call immediately!” Charges of deceptive advertising and of fraud on the part of the Psychic Readers Network began to surface around this time.
In 2001, Access Resource Services doing business as Psychic Readers Network was sued in various lawsuits brought by (among others) Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Florida, and the Federal Communications Commission, although reports later said that “many customers were satisfied with the service”.
In 2002, the FTC charged the company’s owners and Harris’ promoters, Steven Feder and Peter Stotz, with deceptive advertising, billing and collection practices; Harris was not indicted. Her promoters agreed to settle for a fraction of the amount they took in. It emerged that Harris was actually born in Los Angeles, and that her parents were U.S. citizens.
Harris voiced the character Auntie Poulet in the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
In 2003, the New York Daily News reported that TV music network Fuse had signed Harris as a spokeswoman. In early 2005, Harris was reportedly appearing on television as Miss Cleo in advertisements for a used car dealership in Florida, according to the Broward-Palm Beach New Times.
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_Cleo