Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Report: Will Smith’s Business Partner Warned Him About Scientology Interfering with Career

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Leave it to Tony Ortega. The intrepid investigator of all things Scientology has gotten an exclusive first interview ever with Jacqueline Olivier. She was the original headmistress of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s private school, the New Village Leadership Academy in Calabasas, California. Olivier was fired after the school’s first year and replaced with a Scientologist who was only too happy to teach the kids L. Ron Hubbard’s Study Tech curriculum.

The school, which closed in June, was all about Scientology. Olivier tells Ortega: “I started finding out that everyone was a Scientologist, and what they were really up to.

More importantly, Olivier  clears up what has long been suspected but never confirmed and sometimes denied by the Smiths.

On Will Smith: “If he isn’t [a Scientologist] now, at least at that time he was, or seriously considering it. He was so into Study Technology,” Olivier says.

In 2008, Olivier says, Smith’s business partner James Lassiter warned him about the movie “Hancock”: “Don’t let Scientology get in the way of this movie. Don’t let the school and Scientology get in the way of the bottom line.’ I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the point of what he said,” Olivier says.

Smith didn’t listen, of course. The result was this summer’s Scientology-themed financial disaster “After Earth.”

And Smith’s reluctance to be in “Independence Day 2” may have to do with the Scientology beliefs he’s acquired since the first movie was made.

Olivier’s conclusion about New Village: “It could have been a great school. But they were so vigilant about the Scientology aspect of it. In a fourth grade class, they were reading a first-grade text because they were so worried about the kids running into a misunderstood word. If a couple of kids got into a scuffle at recess, that also had to be the result of a misunderstood word,” she says. “It was so dull. The teachers were so bogged down following these rules, but that’s what Will and Jada wanted.”

For more read www.tonyortega.org

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
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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