Rapper 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, halting the dispute over a sex tape.
The 40-year-old rapper, Curtis James Jackson III, filed for chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Hartford, Conn., on Monday, the same day he was supposed to appear in a New York state court to determine whether he owes punitive damages in a 2010 lawsuit filed by Lastonia Leviston, rapper Rick Ross’s ex-girlfriend, court records show.
Jurors said last week that 50 Cent should pay $5 million to Ms. Leviston, who said that 50 Cent violated her privacy by posting a sex tape of her online. 50 Cent’s lawyers dispute the amount of the verdict.
The skeletal, five-page bankruptcy petition didn’t reference the lawsuit.
The lawsuit accused 50 Cent of posting a 13-minute sex tape on his website in 2009 as part of a “rap war” between himself and Mr. Ross, according to court papers.
“This filing for personal bankruptcy protection permits Mr. Jackson to continue his involvement with various business interests and continue his work as an entertainer, while he pursues an orderly reorganization of his financial affairs,”
Said William A. Brewer III, 50 Cent’s lawyer.
Lawyers didn’t explain how he plans to use bankruptcy protection to get a fresh start.
50 cent also invested in the maker of Glaceau Vitaminwater, which was sold to Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion in 2007. Industry insiders speculate that 50 Cent got between $40 million and $100 million from that deal, Mr. Charnas said.
50 Cent appeared on the music scene in 2003 with his gangsta rap anthem “In Da Club.” He has gone to release five commercial albums and has also acted in such films as the soon-to-hit-theaters “Southpaw.”
For those laughing and making meme jokes on the internet about 50 Cent being broke, he’s really not. Looks like he has the last laugh.
Filing for bankruptcy protection generally halts lawsuits and collection efforts. What 50 Cent is doing is just putting all his money into a corporation, or LLC, so that his assets and money is protected and no one can take 50 Cent’s money directly from him because he is technically “broke”.
Last week, the New York Times profiled Mr. Jackson, proclaiming that he “has exceptional business instincts.” But Mr. Charnas said the rapper’s popularity has since faded.