Down to his last 50 Cent? Rapper files for bankruptcy

Rapper and actor files for bankruptcy protection three days after he is ordered to pay $5m to a woman whose sex tape he posted online

After losing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit, rapper 50 Cent has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In papers filed with the US bankruptcy court in Hartford, Connecticut, on Monday, 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, reported assets and debts in the $10m to $50m range. According to the petition, 50 Cent holds primarily consumer debts, which are debts “incurred by an individual primarily for a personal, family or household purpose”.

The bankruptcy report arrives three days after a jury ordered the rapper to pay $5m to Lastonia Leviston, of Pembroke Pines, Florida, for buying her sex tape, editing it with his own narration and posting it online without her permission.

50 Cent narrated the 13-minute video as a wig-wearing character named Pimpin’ Curly, and made explicit remarks about Leviston and rapper Rick Ross, who has a daughter with Leviston but did not appear in the video. He acquired the video in 2008 from Leviston’s then boyfriend, and it appeared online in 2009. At the time, Ross and 50 Cent were engaged in a fairly public feud.

Leviston said she was horrified and humiliated at the online release of the video, testifying at the trial that it was put online against her will.

50 Cent did not testify at the trial. He said the Pimpin’ Curly character was “joking” when he referred to Leviston as a “porn star” during a sworn pre-trial questioning that was played for the jury.

Attorneys for 50 Cent at Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors said in a statement that filing for bankruptcy “allows Mr Jackson to reorganise his financial affairs, as he addresses various professional liabilities and takes steps to position the future of his various business interests.”

According to the statement, 50 Cent’s “business interests will continue unaffected in the ordinary course” as the case is pending.

50 Cent, now 40, is best known for his 2003 debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’, and made millions as a spokesman for sport beverage company Vitaminwater. He has also starred in 21 films, the most recent of which is Southpaw, which also stars Jake Gyllenhaal.


Mahita Gajanan in New York and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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