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charlie mack on FP


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The family and friends of top entertainers and athletes often double as paid employees. Will Smith still cuts a check for Charlie "Mack" Alston, even though Alston hasn't worked for the I, Robot star in six months.

"I just got tired of sitting in the trailer" while Smith was filming, "watching BET for 18 hours a day," says Alston, who is attempting to run his own community-outreach organization in Philadelphia.

Alston, 38, a native of Southwest Philly, met Smith, an Overbrook High grad, while promoting concerts by the rapper and DJ "Jazzy" Jeff Townes in the 1980s. Alston moved to Hollywood as Smith's bodyguard in the early '90s, and lived with him until Smith married Jada Pinkett in 1997.

"All Will's crew is from Philly," Mack notes, adding that Smith "doesn't have a lot of good friends in the business."

Because the Oscar nominee doesn't carry a cell phone, "everybody who wanted to deal with Will Smith had to go through me," Mack says with pride. The 6-foot-7 "baby-sitter" served as a friend more than an employee: "You know how people on the payroll feed you [lies]? I didn't. I helped him with his insecurities."

There are obvious perks to sharing the celebrity spotlight, even if it's only a flicker. Alston had to get extra pages put in his passport because he traveled so much with Smith.

"I met Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, President Clinton. Everybody I wanted to meet, I met," says Alston, who pulls out photos of himself smiling with his heroes. "Will used to call me 'Charlie Gump.' "

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I think part of FP's success and his remaining down 2 earth is becuz he has the Too Damn Hype posse helping him out on all affiars. :roll: I honestly think that waz one of his smartest moves in his career...keeping home and friends close by.
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