The Other Side Of The Pillow: Revelations That Bestselling Author Zane Owes A Ton In Taxes And More

June 29, 2015  |  

The recently uncovered financial troubles of bestselling author Zane, much of which centers on a failed romance and deception, could be the plot of one of her erotica novels.

And many are asking where all her money has gone.

Not much has ever been revealed about African-American exotic writer Zane, other than she has churned out bestseller after erotic bestseller. In fact, she has published 39 books with more than a dozen books landing on the New York Times bestseller list. She has more than five million books-such as The Sex Chronicles, Dear G-Spot, and The Hot Box–in print.

Zane even heads her own imprint at Simon & Schuster, was made executive producer of two shows on Cinemax, including Zane’s Sex Chronicles, and in 2014 one of her novels was turned into a feature film (Addicted). In the process, Zane expanded her brand by launching a satellite-radio show called Zane’s Literary Salon, and has announced plans for a bookstore and a lingerie line. There’s even talk of a restaurant chain.

Until 2004, Zane kept even her face a secret. But with the news of a major tax debt, more of who Zane really is might be coming to light.

Her real name is Kristina Laferne Roberts, which became known when Maryland publicly released a list of major tax debtors. According to the record, she owes $340,833.58 in taxes, dating back to 2003. Incredibly, this was the same year she had 7 out of 15 titles on Waldenbooks’ African-American bestseller list. And on top of this she owes the IRS more than $540,000.

And there’s even more debt. “There are mortgage problems, too: Her gated mansion in Upper Marlboro, purchased for $1.5 million in 2004, according to property records, has twice gone into foreclosure. The first time was in 2009—between seasons of her popular Cinemax show. The second was in 2014, after Chase forgave $915,000 of the original loan,” reports The Washingtonian, which has an exhaustive story about Zane and her financial state.

According to documents, Roberts says she owes a whopping $3.4 million. She estimated her total assets at $1.5 million, this includes her mansion, other property worth $530,000 , a car, $3,500 worth of household goods, $1,500 worth of clothes, a $400 checking account, a savings account with $51, and a money-market account worth just $8. Add to the trouble, these days she isn’t publishing as much as she used to.

But much of the trouble seem to center around a man named Faiger Blackwell, owner of  Carolina Pinnacle Studios in Yanceyville, NC. A preacher and serial entrepreneur, he has been attempting to position Pinnacle as a production studio for Hollywood-caliber films. But in December 2006 his company filed for bankruptcy. And when the studio was slated to be auctioned off, Roberts signed on as the guarantor on a $1.4 million loan so that Blackwell could keep the studio. He agreed to make Roberts his partner. The partnership was a financial disaster, and according to lawsuits filed against Blackwell, Roberts says she was duped. She has accused Blackwell of breach of contract and fraud. She says he “maliciously gained the trust of [her] under the guise of an intended romantic relationship.”

Blackwell defaulted on the loan and the bank began to go after Roberts for more than $1 million. This seems to have prompted Roberts, 48, to file for bankruptcy protection. According to her bankruptcy filing, Roberts was still raking it in until at least 2012. That year, she made $362,000 from Simon & Schuster however in 2013, she reported that her book earnings had dropped to $91,000. “In mid-2014, at the time of the bankruptcy filing, she listed her year-to-date earnings as only $28,734,” reports the outlet.

Some say the figures just aren’t adding up–and folks are looking into Zane’s complex financial mess.  There could be a bestseller in here somewhere.

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