Hartford , July 14: 50 Cent filed for federal bankruptcy protection today, days after a jury ordered him to pay USD 5 million in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit.
The rapper-actor, whose real name is Curtis Jackson III, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in US Bankruptcy Court in Hartford. He owns a 50,000-square-foot mansion in nearby Farmington.
The filing lists both the assets and liabilities for the ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’ artist as between USD 10 million and USD 50 million and indicates his debts are primarily consumer and not business related.
The filing comes after a New York jury on Friday ordered Jackson to pay USD 5 million to a woman who said he acquired a video she made with her boyfriend, added himself as a crude commentator and posted it online without her permission.
The jury this week was scheduled to deliberate on possible further, punitive damages in Lastonia Leviston’s invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against Jackson. But the filing may put the trial on hold. Jackson did not appear as scheduled today to testify about his finances because of the bankruptcy filing, his lawyer said.
“Mr Jackson’s business interests will continue unaffected in the ordinary course during the pendency of the Chapter 11 case,” attorney William A Brewer III said in a statement.
“This filing for personal bankruptcy protection permits Mr Jackson to continue his involvement with various business interests and continue his work as an entertainer,” he said.
The lawsuit stems from a 13-minute video that appeared online in 2009, featuring a wig-wearing 50 Cent as a narrator dubbed Pimpin’ Curly.
He makes explicit remarks about the images and taunts rap rival Rick Ross, who isn’t in the video but had previously had a daughter with Leviston. At the time the video surfaced, Ross and 50 Cent were trading barbs via video, lyrics and interviews.
Jackson got the tape from the man in it, Leviston’s boyfriend at the time. The rapper said that he didn’t actually post the video but that Leviston’s then-boyfriend said she wouldn’t mind if he did.
A message seeking comment on the bankruptcy filing was left for Leviston’s attorney.
50 Cent burst to the fore of gangsta rap with 2003’s ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’, its lead single, ‘In Da Club’, and a tough life story that included having been shot nine times. Jackson is an admitted former crack dealer who has built an empire beyond entertainment. He invested early in Vitamin Water and has expanded his business interests into clothing and audio equipment.