Brad Pitt Helped Hurricane Katrina Victims, Then He Was Sued
Hurricane Katrina Victims of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward received help to have their homes rebuilt, only to have them later give way to “rot, mold and structural defects,” according to an April 12, 2023 article in The Hollywood Reporter entitled, “Brad Pitt and the Bizarre Charity Mess That’s Left Katrina Victims Stranded Again.” Actor Brad Pitt was one of the “original benefactors,” according to the article, which states: “Owners of faulty homes built by the star’s Make It Right Foundation in New Orleans were relieved when charity Global Green promised $20.5 million for repairs. The only problem: It never had the money.”
CharityWatch analyzed Global Green USA’s 2020 and 2021 tax filings, noting that the organization reported that its finances were not independently audited in these fiscal years. CharityWatch’s Executive Director, Laurie Styron, spoke with investigative journalist Gary Baum of The Hollywood Reporter, commenting on the problems that can result when a charity like Global Green USA lacks an independent audit of its finances:
"'The lack of an independent audit is not a minor detail,' explains CharityWatch executive director Laurie Styron. 'Charities often omit a lot of unflattering information about themselves in their tax filings that can only be discovered by analyzing their audits,' she says. 'For example, audits are required to include information about any legal issues a charity is having if they are likely to result in a material financial liability. If an audit doesn't exist, then a lot of accountability and public disclosure is lost.'"
Homeowners filed a class-action lawsuit in 2018, according to the article, “seeking damages against their original benefactors, the Make It Right Foundation and its leading man, Brad Pitt,” but the case “languished in Orleans Parish court for years as their properties decayed.” For his part, “Pitt’s team rejects any notion that the actor or his reputation are at all to blame for what’s transpired, contending that Global Green is solely responsible for making a promise it didn’t keep,” according to the article.
Read the complete article in The Hollywood Reporter.