According to WJLA.com/ABC 7, Women Veterans Interactive (WVI) is making it known about how the entertainer did not return the $12,000 it paid her in advance to deliver a keynote address at National Harbor. The group compensated her for the Veterans Day event, but Smith has yet to return the check she received for first-class plane tickets and an appearance fee.
The situation has been a disappointing one for WVI creator Ginger Miller, who emerged from being homeless to create the group. In light of Smith also rising from her homelessness, Miller felt connected to the actor after they appeared in the same issue of Essence magazine.
“I was shocked; I was kind of numb … as military women, and women veterans, we put our life on the line. We have served and sacrificed for this country, and this event was for us, to celebrate,” Miller, a disabled veteran told WJLA.com.
Created in 2011, WVI has supported more than 1,000 female vets, in addition to winning praise from the state of Maryland and being named as a 2013 White House Champion of Change.
WJLA noted that emails about getting reimbursed from Smith and Douglas resulted in “a real runaround” as a text allegedly sent from Smith reveals she knew the $12,000 payment had been made.
A PR representative for Douglas revealed to ABC 7 News that it Smith was the one who breached the contract and in light of their divorce, the couple’s assets are frozen.
“That money has been stolen,” Miller said told ABC 7. “Was it an intentional steal? I don’t think so. I just think it got caught up in a lot of drama, but is the money stolen? Yes, because it doesn’t belong to you.”
Although the PR rep promised that Miller would be reimbursed the $12,000 in installments after starting with a $2,000 payment, the plan is unacceptable for her.
“I just want the money back, so we can continue to serve these women veterans. That’s it,” Miller said.
Smith has denied Douglas’ claim that he gave cash to her. A source close to Smith mentioned that Douglas has never paid his soon-to-be ex for any appearance he’s booked on her behalf.
ABC7 News’ report last week garnered a response Thursday from Smith, who told the station that she feels “badly” that “Ginger and her organization are a casualty of my horrible divorce … they need to hold [Douglas] responsible and go after him legally.”
Despite her offering to repay a quarter of the $12,000, Miller stated that the offer was made with strings attached.
“‘I’m gonna give you x amount of dollars, but you have to sign a statement stating that you’re gonna go after RKD Management for the full amount and that you won’t slander my name,’” Miller recalled Smith saying. “At this point, for me, I don’t need to slander anybody’s name. Slandering has nothing to do with it. The facts speak for themselves. Only thing we want is a refund.”
To see ABC 7 News’ story on Smith, check out the video below: