50 Cent discharged from bankruptcy after paying off $22m of debt

The rapper reached his target nearly five years early, helped by a $13.65m legal malpractice suit going in his favour

It was a less a case of get rich or die tryin’ than get solvent or die tryin’. The rapper 50 Cent has now achieved his aim and emerged from bankruptcy, paying off debts of more than $22m (£17.6m). A US federal judge discharged the rapper from bankruptcy on Thursday at a hearing in Hartford, Connecticut.

The rapper, who burst onto the music scene in 2003, filed for chapter 11 reorganisation in 2015, citing debts of $36m and assets of less than $20m. Judge Ann Nevins approved a plan in July calling for 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson III, to pay back about $23m.

Jackson’s lawyers said Thursday that he paid off the five-year plan early with $8.7m of his own money and $13.65m he received in a recent settlement of a legal malpractice lawsuit against other attorneys.

50 Cent’s route to solvency had not been smooth. Among those he owed money to was Lastonia Leviston, to whom he had to pay $6m after acquiring a sex tape she made with her boyfriend, adding his own commentary and posting it online.

When he filed for bankruptcy in summer 2015, he promptly posted a photo on Instagram showing stacks of banknotes spelling out the word “broke” and posted a video claiming “my crib is almost finished in Africa”.

When called to explain this by the bankruptcy court last year, his lawyers said: “The cash depicted in the social media postings is not real. The postings, which among other things, make use of stage or prop money, are part of the debtor’s routine social media marketing activities and relate directly to the debtor’s various business interests. Prop money is routinely used in the entertainment industry, including in movies, television shows, videos and social media postings.”

Staff and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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