The Rev. Al Sharpton has locked down a buyer for the rights to his life story, his own charity The National Action Network who he is president of.
The National Action Network agreed to pay the Sharpton $531,000 for his “life story rights for a 10-year period,” according to the non-profit’s latest tax filing obtained by The New York Post.
The National Action Network can reportedly sell the rights to his life story to Hollywood or any other takers at a profit. However, neither the reverend nor the National Action Network charity would identify what producers are waiting for the rights.
The document does not indicate when Sharpton gets the money, which is more than the $244,661 he already pulled down in compensation from the group in 2017.
Sharpton said the idea for the deal came from two board members from The National Action Network – whom he would not name – that wanted to create a source of revenue for the civil-rights organization after he steps down in about a year.
“This way they make a profit from the beginning and all of the revenues,” he said.
Sharpton said he had contracts for two movies, with a third contract in the works. One of these movies is already in production, he claimed. He would not provide details of any of the projects.
He said a
“You’ve got real property here. You’re not talking about just me as an activist. These are non-related NAN things that are the saleable items,” Sharpton said.
Sharpton said that the assets were appraised and the movie deals alone could bring in at least triple to NAN over what it was paying him for the rights.
The National Action Network says a private donor put up the money to make the
Nonprofit experts said the transaction could be troubling because NAN — whose mission includes criminal justice reform and police accountability — was doing business with its president.
If NAN paid too much it could run afoul of IRS rules regarding excess benefits given to a nonprofit’s key officials, which might put its tax-exempt status in jeopardy, Marcus Owens, a former IRS official and a partner with the Loeb & Loeb law firm in Washington, DC.
“When I see this kind of thing, it just makes me roll my eyes because there’s so much potential for funny business,” said Linda Sugin, a Fordham University Law School professor and associate dean.
NAN’s tax filing noted that the board’s unnamed “executive committee independently approved” the deal.
But Sugin questioned such how such independence was achieved.
“In this case, it’s really difficult because of his role in the organization and just because of his overall influence,” she said.
Head of Charity Watch Daniel Borochoff said the transaction would have been “a lot cleaner” if Al Sharpton had of just sold the rights himself to a production company and then donated any profit in excess of $531,000 to NAN.
Report by Jane Mitchell for MilneNews.com
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