Saturday, May 18, 2024

Exclusive: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett $150,000 Nation of Islam 2015 Donation Verified


EXCLUSIVE We always worried about Will Smith and Jada Pinkett’s flirtation with Scientology. For several years they underwrote their own private school in Calabasas, California that incorporated Scientology curriculum. They often gave money to Scientology organizations through their 501c3 tax free foundation.

But now they have a new cause. In 2015, according to federal tax forms, the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation made possibly its largest donation ever: to the Nation of Islam. The 2015 Form 990 shows a donation to Muhammad’s Holy Temple of Islam, Chicago, for $150,000.  The Holy Temple of Islam is a dba for Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam.

Farrakhan had Tweeted news of the donation back in September 2015. He wrote: Last night in Philadelphia, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan announced that he called upon Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith to support 10-10-15. And he said the couple happily donated $150,000 to offset the cost of hosting the upcoming historic gathering! Will Smith attended the Million Man March in 1995.” But the gift was not officially verified until now.

The gift to NOI represents about a fourth of their total donations for 2015, which came to $680,983. That’s the most the Smiths– who average around a half a million dollars a year in charitable giving– have ever disbursed. The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed the NOI as a Black Separatist hate group, anti-Semitic, racist and anti-gay.

The NOI donation is also three times their highest donation in 2015. They gave $50,000 each to the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, the Runa Foundation (a group that helps the rainforests), and Youth Speaks, in San Francisco.

The foundation lists only one paid officer, Karen Evans, of Baltimore, who received $95,000 in compensation and benefits. She’s the aunt of Jada Pinkett Smith.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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