Will Smith has been dragged back into a million-dollar legal battle involving his close friends Duane and Tisha Campbell-Martin, along with a "Basketball Wives" star.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Tisha Campbell-Martin is back in court attempting to block the sale of a $2.4 million home. She believes her ex-husband is playing games in the legal battle.
Tisha and Duane Martin are in the middle of a nasty divorce and separate bankruptcy battle. In their bankruptcy, Duane was accused of hiding a Chatsworth mansion under a company named Roxe LLC. Will Smith loaned Duane $1.4 million to save the home at one point.
Last month, Duane and the trustee reached a deal, where Smith would be paid back in full on $1.5 million loaned to Martin.
Per their deal, Duane has agreed to sell off a 5-bedroom, 6-bathroom, 9,200 sq. ft. mansion located in Chatsworth, California. The trustee found a buyer who will be purchasing the pad for $2.45 million.
The $2.45 million will be broken down with $1.5 million going to Will Smith’s company named TB Properties LLC, $122k owed in back rent, $485k to the bankruptcy estate (to be used to pay off creditors) and $170,560 to a company named Roxe LLC.
In newly filed documents, Tisha Campbell-Martin is trying to block her ex Duane Martin’s settlement deal. She believes the deal interferes with money she is owed.
Tisha says the proposed settlement is a “dishonest debtor’s dream. Duane Martin defrauded the estate and it’s creditors in a complex scheme to hide his multi-million-dollar family home, and now stands to walk away not only with his discharge intact, but with a share of the proceeds from the Trustee’s proposed sale of the home.”
The actress has questions on why Duane is pushing the sale quickly. She adds, “The Trustee – well aware of Duane Martin’s penchant for fraud, but wanting to salvage the deal reached at mediation and a quick recovery for the estate – pushed forward with seeking expedited relief.”
Tisha claims the proposed buyer of the home is former “Basketball Wives” star Angel Brinks. Brinks signed a declaration in court stating, “no prior or present dealings, relationships or connections” with Duane Martin and Will Smith. Tisha points out Brinks is somewhat connected.
She points out, “However, it appears from public records that Ms. Brinks is the significant other (since at least mid-2018) of actor Jackie Long – who formerly co-starred with Duane Martin on the Real Husbands of Hollywood, and appears to be close with Will Smith. While there may be a plausible coincidental explanation for what appears to be, at a minimum, a “connection” between Ms. Brinks and the players in the subject litigation, such explanations seem less plausible against the backdrop of the documented fraud by Duane Martin, and his prior use of close friends and family members (Michael Martin, Will Smith, Derek Folk) to conceal his continued interest in the Property.”
Tisha wants the court to step in and shut down the proposed sale.
In the original fraud lawsuit, The trustee alleged Duane set up a company named Roxe LLC to conceal ownership of the 9,000 sq. ft. mansion. 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 then defaulted on his loan and negotiated a short sale with the bank, and he used Roxe to buy the home back from the bank using a $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 in excess of the loan given by Will and Jada, meaning he would pocket $1.3 million if sold at asking price.
The trustee said the lease was a sham and Duane and Tisha didn’t make all the payments on the house.
The suit demanded Duane be forced to turn over the home to the bankruptcy estate and be used to benefit his creditors. To be clear, there were no allegations that Will or Jada did anything wrong or had any knowledge of any alleged wrongdoings.
During the battle, 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 entire fraud lawsuit was to be dismissed per their settlement. Tisha is trying to throw a wrench in the deal. A judge has yet to rule.