Sacheen Littlefeather Exposed As Alleged Ethnic Fraud As Her Sisters Reveal She Wasn’t Native American

Sacheen Littlefeather's sisters are claiming that she was not actually Native American, and was instead of Mexican heritage.

It’s been a few weeks since we reported on the passing of the model-turned-activist Sacheen Littlefearther, who rose to fame at the 1973 Academy Awards ceremony when she complained about how Native Americans are treated in Hollywood as she declined the Oscar that Marlon Brando won for his work in The Godfather on his behalf. 

Now, Littlefeather’s sisters are speaking out to accuse her of being an ethnic fraud, claiming that while she claimed to be Native American, she was actually Mexican.

Littlefeather Lied About Being Native American, Her Sisters Say

Daily Mail reported that Littlefeather shocked the world at the 1973 Oscars ceremony, where she claimed to be a member of the Apache nation and was booed by the Hollywood elites after she complained about the way the industry treats Native Americans. Weeks before Littlefeather died on October 2 at the age of 75, the Academy issued her a formal letter of apology over the way she was treated during the ceremony, and she appeared at an in-person event to officially accept this apology. 

Rosalind Cruz and Trudy Orlandi, Littlefeather’s two biological sisters, are now speaking out to claim that none of what she had to say about her heritage was true.

“It’s a lie,” Orlandi stated. “My father was who he was. His family came from Mexico. And my dad was born in Oxnard.”

“It is a fraud,” Cruz said in agreement. “It’s disgusting to the heritage of the tribal people. And it’s just… insulting to my parents.”

As for why Littlefeather decided to lie about her heritage, Orlandi said that she believes that when her sister got to Hollywood over half a century ago, “it was more prestigious to be an American Indian than it was to be a Hispanic.”

Related: Sacheen Littlefeather Dies Weeks After Slamming John Wayne For 1973 Oscars Incident

More Of Littlefeather’s Allegedly False Claims

Throughout her decades in the public eye, Littlefeather regularly portrayed her father as being a violent Apache alcoholic who abused his family. Cruz and Orlandi, however, said that this could not be further from the truth of who their father was. 

“My father was deaf and he had lost his hearing at 9 years old through meningitis,” Cruz explained. “He was born into poverty. His father, George Cruz, was an alcoholic who was violent and used to beat him. And he was passed to foster homes and family. But my sister Sacheen took what happened to him.”

As for their mother, Orlandi said, “Sacheen did not like her. She didn’t like being Mexican,” which made “play(ing) someone else” make sense for her as a way of life.

“The best way that I could think of summing up my sister is that she created a fantasy,” Orlandi concluded. “She lived in a fantasy, and she died in a fantasy.”

Was Littlefeather Lying About John Wayne?

Perhaps one of these false “fantasies” was the claim that Littlefeather made about the legendary John Wayne regarding the 1973 Academy Awards. For decades, she alleged that Wayne tried to storm the stage and stop her from declining Brando’s Oscar on his behalf, alleging that it took six men to stop him from successfully “assaulting” her. 

“I remember the faces in the crowd,” Littlefeather claimed 30 years later. “John Wayne, backstage, had to be restrained by six men from coming to get me and pull me off the stage.”

Last month, just two weeks before her death, she stuck to this story.

“I heard a disturbance from behind me as I was speaking up at the podium,” she said, according to Variety. “I found out that [Wayne] had been restrained by six security men from assaulting me while I was on that stage.”

Full Story: John Wayne Slammed By Sacheen Littlefeather For Allegedly Causing The ‘Most Violent Moment’ In Academy Awards History

Given the fact that it’s now been seemingly confirmed that Littlefeather was lying about being a Native American all along, however, it should go without saying that her claims about Wayne should be taken with a grain of salt, along with everything else that came out of her mouth. 

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