A video showing one-time record mogul Damon Dash demanding to be paid back money from filmmaker Lee Daniels years ago went viral on Tuesday, years after the alleged deal was first brokered. In the video, Jay Z’s former right-hand-man can be seen speaking directly into Daniels’ ear and insisting the $2 million he said he loaned for the production of a 2004 movie be repaid immediately.
It was unclear who filmed the video, which required subtitles because it was recorded during a loud, undetermined event. It was also unclear when the video was recorded.
Daniels all but admitted he hadn’t repaid Dash for the loan to help make the movie, “The Woodsman,” which means the filmmaker’s apparent unpaid debt was going on nearly 15 years.
“Two million dollars, bro!” Dash exclaimed on the video, demonstrably agitated. “That’s like working capital!”
Aside from the obvious principle of the matter, if true, Dash had plenty of incentive to try to get his money back. He has fallen on much harder times following his public split from Jay Z around 2005, leading to speculation over whether he was broke.
At one time, Dash was worth as much as $50 million, according to Bankrate, which reported last year that his net worth had since fallen to negative $2 million. So it was no wonder Dash approached Daniels so aggressively – his very livelihood seemingly may depend on getting that money back, even if it gets repaid without any interest.
On the flip side, Daniels, the producing brain trust behind the hit TV shows “Empire” and “Star” whose 2013 movie “The Butler” yielded multiple NAACP Image Awards, seemed like he could afford to pay Dash back. Eight years after “Precious” earned two Academy Awards, Daniels’ net worth stood at an enviable $20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Bossip cited a Hollywood Reporter story from 2015 about Daniels settling an ownership dispute over both “The Butler” and “Empire” stemming from a lawsuit Dash filed. The article referenced “$2M lent by Damon Dash, which the Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder asserted was never fully repaid with debts rolled over, entitling Dash to participate in the success of such films as ‘The Butler’ and ‘Precious’ and the hit Fox television show, ‘Empire’.”