The "Aladdin" actor lent Martin the money after Martin's mansion went into foreclosure.
Many of us have friends, but very few have "here's a million dollars" friends. Longtime pals Will Smith and Duane Martin have known each other for decades, so when Martin needed some financial help, Smith didn't hesitate to loan him $1.5 million. Martin reportedly required the large sum of cash to save his Chatsworth, California mansion after he defaulted on his original loan for the property, but after it was purchased under a company named Roxe LLC, he was able to become a renter once again.
When Martin filed for bankruptcy last year, the bankruptcy trustee accused Martin of hiding away his 9,200 square foot, 5-bedroom, 6-bathroom house under the company in order to keep the property. Then, in 2018, Martin put the mansion up for sale in an effort to, according to the trustee, pocket the nearly $2.7 million he was asking for the property, taking home around $1.3 million after paying the Smiths back.
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The trustee demanded that the California mansion be sold to help pay off Martin's creditors and filed a lawsuit against the actor accusing him of fraud. Both Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith were never held responsible for or accused of any misconduct in the lawsuit. During the investigation, correspondences between Smith and Martin, as well as Smith's financial records, were turned over to officials. According to The Blast, text messages showed that Smith had reservations regarding the loan he'd given to his friend.
There is now a buyer for the property, found by the trustee, and the sale is slated at $2.45 million. Smith will receive his $1.5 million first, another $122K will go to unpaid rent, Roxe LLC will take almost $171K, and the bankruptcy estate will grab their $485K. Because the home has been sold and the case has been settled, the lawsuit was dismissed.