Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have reportedly decided to disassociate themselves from the Church Of Scientology. And in the process they’ve received a $1.2 million refund from the church.
Radar Online has reported that tax records prove that the pair received the astronomical sum from the church. The actors have never actually confirmed that they are members of Scientology.
But Will Smith previously talked encouragingly about the religion, and the pair had even donated thousands upon thousands of dollars to various causes associated with it.
In 2010, tax documents showed that the Smiths’ WJS Trust donated $1,235,000 to the New Village Leadership. This is a school that has lessons related to Scientology on its curriculum, and it’s run by people who have close ties to the church.
However, the school closed in 2013. But rather than the Smiths losing all of their money, they were reimbursed the complete amount. Since then, the Smiths haven’t donated any more money to Scientologist causes. Instead they’ve sent money to Christian and Baptist Churches in California, Los Angeles, and Baltimore, the latter being Jada Pinkett’s hometown.
Will Smith’s association with Scientology has always been rather mysterious. Smith was raised in a Baptist household, while he also went to Catholic school. However he has always insisted that he isn’t religious.
But rumors have constantly swirled that Smith was a Scientologist, rumors that the actor has always denied. This speculation began after Smith admitted to talking to Tom Cruise about the religion, and he spoke glowingly about it too.
“I’ve talked to Tom about it, “Smith admitted back in 2006, via Hollywood. “[There’s] lots of incredible, wonderful concepts. Jada and I don’t necessarily believe in organized religion.”
There’s also one pretty important reason why Will Smith won’t be able to become a member of Scientology too. The fact that he was raised in a Baptist household. In the same interview, Smith explained, “I was raised in a Baptist household and my grandmother would get up out of her casket.”
Smith once again refuted claims he was a Scientologist in 2008. He told the New York Daily News, via MSN, “You don’t have to be Jewish to be a friend of Steven Spielberg. You don’t have to be a Muslim to be a friend of Muhammed Ali. And you don’t have to be a Scientologist to be a friend of Tom Cruise. I am a Christian. I am a student of all religions, and I respect all people and all paths.”
[Image via Kevin Winter/Getty Images]