LAS VEGAS (CN) – Singer Wayne Newton defaulted on a $3.35 million loan to refinance his current debt, claims “personal friend” and NASCAR billionaire O. Bruton Smith, who guaranteed the loan in 2006. Smith’s lawsuit in Clark County Court comes just days after officials accused “Mr. Las Vegas” of abandoning his private jet at a Detroit-area airport three years ago.
Smith says Newton claimed to have “sufficient personal assets” to cover the loan from Bank of America, and even promised to secure the loan with his 38-acre Las Vegas home and $2 million jet. Smith also says Newton promised but failed to “sell personal assets to pay off the loan before allowing (Bank of America) to pursue Smith” for repayment.
The loan came due May 30, 2009, but Smith says Newton didn’t pay up and is ignoring his demands for repayment.
Smith is the founder, chairman and CEO of Sonic Automotive, which owns car dealerships across the country. He’s also the founder and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns several NASCAR racetracks.
Newton was sued twice in July 2009 by creditors who claimed the crooner owed them tens of thousands of dollars.
The latest lawsuit was filed by Mark Ferrario with Greenberg Traurig.