Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI

Will Smith, Once Bankrupt, Gave Up His 40 Million Bonus to Compensate ‘King Richard’ Co-Stars

"Money & success don't change people; they merely amplify what is already there." – Will Smith

Will Smith didn't always have money and fame, and whatever he has now he worked hard for. Will started working on rap songs, his first passion, when he was just 12 years old. He never stopped believing in himself, and even rejected an MIT offer to pursue music. Will's inspirational story didn't stop with his breakthrough role on Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. Along his journey, he's known defeat and bankruptcy.

Most recently Will Smith produced and starred in the upcoming King Richard movie. He plays the father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams. When the movie was taken down from theatres to HBO, Will took it upon himself to hand out his own money to his co-stars, here's how it went down.

The Movie Was Supposed To Have A Theatrical Release

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It all started when WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar chose to launch the movie both in theatres and on HBO Max simultaneously.

This meant that the cast and many working for the movie would experience a financial loss in theatrical returns.

Will Was Supposed To Earn $40 Million

PALM SPRINGS, CA - JANUARY 03: Will Smith attends Variety's Creative Impact Awards and 10 Directors To Watch Brunch at the Parker Palm Springs on January 3, 2016 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images,)

Jerod Harris / Getty Images

​Rather than hold on to his hefty paycheck reported to be as high as $40 million, Will decided instead to personally write checks to the cast which includes the teens Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, who play Venus and Serena.

Will's payment was an additional compensation to the one the studio was already handing out to make up for their strategic release pivot. Will had no reason to add on to it other than his pure generosity.

The Whole Cast Had Nothing But Praise For Will

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 19: (L-R) Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton attend ELLE's 27th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration, presented by Ralph Lauren and Lexus, at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on October 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for ELLE

​Will's costars all speak highly of him. Both Sidney and Singleton described him as a leader and were grateful for the way he brought joy to all of his interactions.

In an interview Singleton has explained: "Being on set with him was an absolute blast...He made sure that everyone felt comfortable and safe and had a great time — it was never a dull moment — ever." Will just wanted everyone on his team to feel loved, all thanks to his big heart.

Will Was Known For Giving Gifts

Will young co-star Layla Crawford couldn't hide her excitement over Will's generosity in an interview: "He gave us Polaroid cameras and different treats all the time. He also gave us iPhone 12 Pro Max gifts in boxes. We ripped them open and everyone started crying. I literally cried my eyes out "

Will Smith is a blessing, I learned so much from working with him."

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Noticed By The Young And The Old

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 12: Tony Goldwyn attends MPTF NextGen Board hosts 2021 Summer Party hosted by Max Greenfield at Sunset Tower Hotel on September 12, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

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Even 61-year-old actor Tony Goldwyn couldn't believe Will's level of generosity until he saw it with his own eyes.

"I've been doing this for over 30 years. I have never worked with anyone as generous as Will. When Warner Brothers decided not to release it, there were a lot of controversies and we just got a call from Will saying, 'I'm going to make this right.' I've never experienced it, I was floored. I just couldn't believe it.'"

Will Didn't Always Have This Kind of Money

MINNEAPOLIS - MARCH 12: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince pose for a portrait at First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 12, 1990.

Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Will Smith did become a millionaire before he was 18 thanks to his career as a rapper. Being so young, he couldn't handle the money and fame and he actually went broke in 1990. He spent too much money and didn't pay his taxes so the IRS eventually came knocking. Will was recorded saying "They wanted $2.8 million and I had two dollars and eighty-three cents."

He was charged with $2.3 million in taxes & penalties and he lost all his fortune and become bankrupt. Having to start from scratch all over again taught him a valuable lesson on character and generosity

Will Smith's Story Is An Inspiring Lesson

\u200bHOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Actor Will Smith attends the Centerpiece Gala Premiere of Columbia Pictures' "Concussion" during AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 10, 2015 in Hollywood, California.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI

The path to success isn't linear and even the millionaires of today didn't always have money. It's stories like Will's that inspire us because they show us a real example of someone who experienced complete failure and used it to their advantage.

Will had to climb to fame and success, not once but twice. His experience humbled him and kept him focused on the values that matter. In the end, it wasn't about how much money he made, but how he made others around him feel. All it takes is will.

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Homeless Man Found Long-Lost Sister After 20 Years, But That Wasn't Even The Miracle

You know what the best part of hardships is? It's the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how dim, or even nonexistent it may seem for a while, it's always there, waiting for you at your destination.

Logan's story didn't see the light for a whole 20 years, which for the young man was a whole lifetime. Yet, he didn't let life's hardest tests get him down and he always held on to the hope of finding that light, till one day he did. He thought reuniting with his lost sister would be the light he was looking for this whole time. Except his sister was already living with her own family at that point...

To find the light at the end of your tunnel, you need to understand your purpose and your potential so that you can take control of your emotions, your life, and your future. Take a quick zodiac reading here to find out what your universe has to say about you right now.

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Life Was Hard From The Very Beginning

Hunt as a young kid smiling while sitting in dining room chair

USA Today / Youtube

Logan's hardships started from the day he was born. For whatever reason, his parents didn't feel fit to raise him, so he was put up for adoption when he was just a toddler. Not all kids get lucky and get adopted when they get put in the system.

Unfortunately for Logan, no family wanted to keep him and he was sent from one foster home to the next until he reached the age of 18. Considered an adult, he aged out of the system and had no choice but to become homeless. All he had ever wanted was a family but instead, he grew up his whole life feeling alone.

A Social Worker Who Cared

files drawer with hundred of files from vabinet

Maksym Kaharlytskyi / Unsplash

Fortunately, all it takes to make a difference in someone's life is finding one person who cares. For Logan, it was his social worker. Once his 11 years in the foster care system were up, Logan's caseworker was determined to find him a good place to live. So far, all his living arrangements had been temporary, and he had never had a place to call home. For a time, Logan even lived in his car.

Looking carefully through his files, they discovered that Logan actually had a biological sister named Shyann who was already living with a good family. The caseworker hoped and prayed that the family would also take an interest in Logan, so she called up Shyan's adoptive mother.

Logan Was Deemed To Be "Toxic"

Logan and his sister hug when reunited

USA Today / Youtube

The caseworker was hoping Robert and Ara Hunt, Shyanna's parents would welcome Logan but that wasn't the case. The family already had 3 adopted children and they were afraid that Logan would disrupt the dynamic that they had created for their family.

Logan's sister was 12 years old at the time and the family was afraid that her biological homeless brother, who was living in a car, would be toxic to their family. In an interview, tey explained: : “We wanted nothing to do with him. We didn’t know anything about him. We were afraid.”

A Television Segment That Reflected The Truth

Logan sitting in interview chair

USA Today / Youtube

You wouldn't think that television is where you'd find the truth and have your whole perspective changed but that was the case for Logan.

The Hunt family saw a local television segment about Logan's journey out of foster cre and it completely changed their mind on the young man. That piece changed the father Robert Hunt’s mind about the 18-year-old. The father said in an interview: “I was just knocked down. I think I’m a pretty good judge of character, and I saw the good character in him."

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From Tragedy To Blessings

car crashed from he side with the plate hanging off

Michael Jin / Unsplash

Up until then, Logan had known nothing but rejection. He told USA Today how the constant rejection that his life made him feel “empty” and “alone," and he felt as though he had “nothing to look forward to.”

Right when Logan thought his life couldn't get worse, he got into a car accident. Yet, he had no idea that this tragedy would turn into a blessing too. Ara went to go visit him in the hospital, and she ended up bringing him home with her. He had no idea another miracle would be waiting for him at her home.

Happily More After

People Magazine

Logan went back to meet his sister and her newfound family thinking the reunion itself would be his miracle while he recovered from the accident. He believed his stay with the family would be temporary just like all his past ones.

As he bonded with the family, Logan fit right in. It didn't take long before the Hunt family performed a second miracle and decided to start the process of adopting Logan! It was finally Logan's chance to reach the light of the end of the tunnel and become part of a family just like he always wanted.

New Beginnings

Logan's life at almost 20 years old was just starting. After 13 years of temporary living arrangements, he finally found his forever home. It turns out that hope and patience were all he needed and the universe had a plan for him all along.

These kinds of stories can happen to anyone. You might think you're never going to catch a break, but there's a light waiting for you too. Are you still searching for your life purpose? You won't believe what the science of Numerology can reveal about you

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