Rapper 50 Cent Declares Bankruptcy Over Lawsuit?

50 CentRapper 50 Cent filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday. Curtis James “Fifty” Jackson III was hit with a five million dollar judgment against him in a case over a leaked sex tape with Lastonia Levinston right before filing for protection. Whether or not the rapper declared bankruptcy over the lawsuit, Fifty has now joined a lengthy list of celebrities who were once rich but burned through their money.

It was recently estimated by Forbes that the rapper has $155 million worth of assets, however, court documents filed in Connecticut report Jackson’s liabilities and assets to fall in the range of $10 million to $50 million. According to Adam Holguin, Chicago attorney, filing Chapter 11 does not mean 50 Cent is broke. He says bankruptcy will allow the opportunity for the rapper to reorganize his finances, including debts, with the goal of eventually paying off the majority of it.

Fifty, as many of his fans call him, was popular in the rap game in the early to mid-2000s. After being caught in a sex-tape scandal, he has decided to declare bankruptcy. The rapper is undoubtedly not totally broke, but it is not clear how much of his $155 million net worth he still has. As stated by 50 Cent’s attorney:

My client’s business interests will continue unaffected in the ordinary course during the pendency of the chapter 11 case.

In 2010, Jackson found himself in court for posting a video of Rick Ross’s baby’s mother having sex with Maurice Murray. The video was posted without her permission as part of a “beef” between Fifty and rival rapper Ross. In a sworn deposition, the rapper admitted to altering the tape by injecting himself into by playing the role of “Pimpin Curly” to make fun of Ross. Levinston said the edited video caused her emotional and mental distress after it garnered over three million hits.

50 Cent asked for the case to be dismissed, but a Manhattan judge refused with claims that enough evidence was present for a jury to determine the merits of Levinston’s claims. The case ended in the woman’s favor and Fifty was hit with a $5 million judgment. It has been alleged that Jackson filed for bankruptcy protection in order to interfere with the lawsuit.  Did 50 Cent really file bankruptcy over the lawsuit? According to Holguin:

The motivation is crystal clear in the case of a wealthy musician who files for protection immediately after getting a $5 million judgment against him; to shirk, if momentarily, paying what he owes.

50 CentFiling for protection in bankruptcy court generally suspends collection on outstanding lawsuits, but the courts can exclude certain debts from bankruptcy protection. For the time being, the bankruptcy filing has halted progress on Levinston’s lawsuit. Based on the allegations of motive for filing Chapter 11, Levinston’s attorneys may request that the bankruptcy judge exclude the $5 million judgment from protection.

50 Cent joins a large list of famous hip-hop stars who went broke after climbing to the top. Although some have claimed by filing Chapter 11 Fifty is showing how business smart he really is, others said that theory is ridiculous. They cannot believe someone who really has a net worth of 155 million dollars would file bankruptcy to avoid paying a mere $5 million. One person said:

I have always said that this dude does not have the money he talks about because nobody who has the money he says he has would settle for going on tour and taking appearance fees for a vodka company he does not actually own. This is not a strategic bankruptcy, it is a guy who is not broke, but surely is overly exposed and is trying to save face before he is completely eaten alive.

A die-hard fan of the rapper disagreed and stated:

50 Cent is a smart businessman. This is a tactic many corporations use to avoid significant liabilities. While in bankruptcy court, he is in a position to negotiate with creditors and will end up paying pennies on his debts. In other words, that $6 million judgment will get cut to about $600,000 in bankruptcy court. It is apparent that Fifty has quality people around him. This is a smart business move.

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson III has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after being hit with a $5 million judgment. Despite the alleged reasons for filing, the rapper has now joined a large company of celebrities who were once deemed millionaires but foolishly went through their money as if it would last forever.

by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)


The Street: 50 Cent’s Bankruptcy Curse
Bossip: 50 Cent Sued By Rick Ross Baby Mama Over Leaked Tape

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Top Image Courtesy of Kmeron – Flickr License
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