Exclusive: According to its federal non profit tax filing for 2012, Will Smith’s private school had to close down last June. New Village Academy, which taught Scientology curriculum and was run by a Scientologist, finished 2012 some $307,000 in the red.
New Village Leadership Academy was started by “After Earth” star Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith in 2008 in Calabasas, California. The school met with immediate criticism as it featured Scientology curriculum. Within a year the headmaster was fired when she wouldn’t go along with the Smiths’ plans. A new headmistress, Franca Campopiano, a Scientologist replaced her.
The school closed abruptly last July. This column spoke to one of the parents, producer Jeff Wald, a few months ago. More recently, the original headmaster gave an interview to Tony Ortega confirming the Scientology connection. One parent, entertainment lawyer Ken Hertz, who was on the board with his wife, refused to return calls.
According to the new filing, Campopiano was making $225,872 a year. Other salaries at the small private school came to $1,276.161.
The school seems like it was top heavy in debt. Total expenses in 2012 were $2, 951,570 under $3 million. Revenue was $2, 929,355– and that included $740,00 from tuition. The gap was just too wide for the Smiths–who’d already donated around $1.5 million– to make up.
Not only that: the school listed under Liabilities loans to staff, directors, trustees former and current of $1.235 million.
The school claimed net assets of (-) $307,146.
Clearly they were not teaching higher math at New Village.