Thursday, May 26, 2022

Will Smith Worried His Million Dollar Loan to Duane Martin Would Be a ‘PR Nightmare’

Will Smith, Duane Martin

*As we previously reported, Will Smith is caught up in Duane Martin’s legal woes related to his bankruptcy case with estranged wife Tisha Martin-Campbell.

The trustee presiding over the case sued Duane back in September over concerns that he hid assets of $2.6 million under a company named Roxe LLC. As part of the suit, Smith was ordered to turn over email chains between Smith, his rep, and Martin from 2018, where they discussed the $1.4 million loan that Will and wife Jada gave Duane to purchase a house which is now at the center of a fraud lawsuit.

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Tisha Campbell-Martin Accuses Duane Martin of Domestic Abuse

The Blast reports:

According to newly unsealed court documents, the actor and his team feared if they loaned the $1.4 million to Duane as he requested, it could turn into a “PR nightmare” for Will, specifically if anyone found out he was associated with such a transaction.

Will’s team began expressing concerns about how Duane wanted the loan structured, with his team worrying about the “questionable structure of the transaction.”

“This is both a PR risk and a legal risk for WS,” one of Will’s advisors wrote in an email. “No PR nightmare can and will happen here.”

The docs note Will eventually did loan Duane $1.4 million to save his home in 2012.

As of July 2018, private emails show Will directing his team to wrap up all outstanding issues with Duane. He wrote one of his advisors, “The point is to SIMULTANEOUSLY Get the books cleared while Helping Shake transition.” Will uses “Shake” as a nickname for Duane.

Tisha Campbell-Martin Accuses Duane Martin of Domestic Abuse

The trustee believes Martin committed fraud when trying to sell the home in question and court documents show he put pressure on Smith to give him a quick loan.

There are no allegations or evidence that Will did anything wrong or had any knowledge of Duane’s shenanigans.

The case is ongoing.

 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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