Rapper in bankruptcy bid after sex tape payout
Rapper 50 Cent has filed for bankruptcy just days after being ordered to pay $5m for posting someone else's sex tape online.
The star, whose real name is Curtis Jackson III, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in US Bankruptcy Court in Hartford, Connecticut, near where he owns a 50,000-square-foot mansion originally owned by boxer Mike Tyson.
The performer lists his assets and liabilities as between $10m and $50m.
The filing comes after a New York jury on Friday ordered Jackson to pay $5m to a woman who said he acquired a 13-minute sex video she made with her boyfriend, added himself as a crude commentator and posted it online without her permission.
Lastonia Leviston said she was horrified when her video went online. "This was something done to me. I didn't have a choice. I would never, ever do this to myself," she testified.
The jury this week was scheduled to deliberate on possible further, punitive damages in Ms Leviston's invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against Jackson.
But the filing may put the trial on hold.
Jackson did not appear as scheduled yesterday to testify about his finances because of the bankruptcy filing.
"Mr Jackson's business interests will continue unaffected in the ordinary course during the Chapter 11 case," attorney William A Brewer III said.
"This filing for personal bankruptcy protection permits Mr Jackson to continue his involvement with various business interests and continue his work as an entertainer."
The lawsuit stems from the sex tape 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 (below) 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.
Jackson burst to the fore of gangsta rap with 50 Cent's 2003 album 'Get Rich or Die Tryin', its lead single, 'In Da Club', and a tough life story that included having been shot nine times.
The 40-year-old rapper 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.