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Will Smith Was Reportedly Nervous About 'A PR Nightmare' After Loaning Duane Martin $1.4 Mill

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Will Smith loaned his friend Duane Martin over $1 million to save his home. New emails have surfaced revealing the Hollywood titan was worried about the media drama that would come from the million dollar gift. More inside...

This year is going to be one hell of a year for Will Smith at the box office. However, the Hollywood titan was worried his name would be making headlines for all of the wrong reasons.

Apparently, the Oscar nominated actor loamed his longtime friend Duane Martin $1.4 million to save his home from foreclosure. Now, new emails have surfaced revealing the Bad Boys 3 actor was nervous about a "PR nightmare" that could have exploded in his face if news got out that he loanded him the money.

The Blast reports:

The emails are from 2012, when Duane needed the money to save his L.A. home, and asked his good friend Will for a loan. At one point, Will discussed buying Duane a home and letting him live rent free for a bit.

Will got his team involved in trying to put a $1.4 million loan together but unsealed court documents reveal it was “chaotic.” Duane pressured his friend for the loan and even had to be warned by Will’s team that while Will wanted to help, he didn’t want to put himself in any unnecessary risk.

Duane was really doing the most to get this cash and that made Will's team uneasy. The "All Of Us" star wanted the loan structured in a particular way and that made Will's people question why he wanted it this particular way.

“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.”

After ironing everything out, Will eventually loaned him the money in 2012. By 2018, Duane wanted to sell the home and reached out to Will's camp again. They suggested he sell the home and repay Will and then lease a pad for one year. Duane wasn't feeling it and questioned if this idea came from Will himself. They confirmed it did.

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.

More drama begin to stir up once Duane and Tisha Campbell Martin filed for bankruptcy and divorce.

The home wasn’t listed as an asset in the bankruptcy but court docs reveal Tisha rolled on Duane, telling the trustee he hid the home in question in the bankruptcy. The trustee then sued Duane, demanding he turn over the pad to help pay off his many creditors.

The revelations are a part of the lawsuit filed back in September, where the trustee in Duane and Tisha Campbell-Martin’s bankruptcy sued Duane because the trustee believed he hid assets of $2.6 million under a company named Roxe LLC.

The trustee alleged that Duane set up Roxe LLC to allegedly conceal ownership of a 9,000 sq. ft. mansion in Chatsworth, California. Duane originally bought the home in 2006 for $900,000. He then borrowed $1.9 million for the purpose of constructing the “Martin family home.”

Duane defaulted on the loan and then was able to negotiate a short sale with the bank. He bought the home back from the bank via Roxe LLC, using the $1.4 million loan from Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Roxe LLC became the owner and Duane and Tisha allegedly entered into a lease with their own company to pay rent of $5,000 per month.

In early 2018, Duane listed the home for $2,695,000 with the intention of pocketing all of the sales proceeds, after paying back Will and Jada, meaning he would pocket $1.3 million if sold at asking price.

The trustee says the lease was a sham and Duane and Tisha did not make all the payments on the house.

The suit is demanding Duane be forced to turn over the home to the bankruptcy estate and used to benefit his creditors. To be clear, there are no allegations that Will or Jada did anything wrong or had any knowledge of any alleged wrongdoings. Martin has also denied any wrongdoing.

Back in February, court docs filed revealed Will Smith had been subpoenaed by the trustee and was forced to turn over financial records and private emails and texts with Duane Martin regarding the loan and home.

The trustee believed the documents were the evidence to prove Duane committed fraud, showing him put pressure on Will Smith to loan him the money quickly.

The case is ongoing.

Listen, Will is over there like "My name ain't Bennett, so I ain't in it." We'll just have to see how this all plays out in court.

On a lighter note....


This clip of Will Smith roasting his son Jaden Smith for being ashy is the laugh you didn't know you needed. Peep the clip above.



1. Azealia Banks has been hit with lawsuit over a $137,000 credit card bill. Sheesh. STORY


Photos: s_bukley / Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com

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