If you follow any other news websites, you’ve probably already seen the heaps of articles covering this story and their totally original ’50 cent only has 50 cents’ titles, but the story is more than the headline implies. In fact, 50 cent most likely still has tons of money, thus his file for bankruptcy is more of a escape from paying charges regarding the release of a sex-tape of rival rapper Rick Ross’ ex-girlfriend.
50 Cent (real name Curtis James Jackson III) reportedly posted a strange narrated version of a 13-minute sex tape of Ross’ then girlfriend, Lastonia Leviston, on his website in 2009 during a rap beef with Ross. The following year, a lawsuit was filed against Mr. Jackson by Leviston and now, five years later on the day that he was supposed to appear in court to determine whether he owes punitive damages (on top of the $5m penalty) the rapper filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy – effectively halting any lawsuits and allowing him to continue in his business pursuits. The 40 year old artist was asked by the Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten to ‘disclose details of his finances’, however Mr. Jackson’s lawyers informed the court of his bankruptcy and promptly avoided any significant punishment.
“Mr Jackson’s business interests will continue unaffected in the ordinary course during the pendency of the Chapter 11 case,” His 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.”
The rapper has sold more than 30 million albums and won a Grammy Award in 2010, and Forbes estimated his net worth to be $155 million in May. Mr. Jackson also reportedly collected tens of millions of dollars from his share in Vitamin Water when Coca-Cola bought the brand in 2007, according to the Wall Street Journal. In addition, he has also appeared in many successful films including his own Get Rich or Die Trying, a brief Cameo in Paul Feig’s Spy, and the upcoming South Paw in which he plays a boxing promoter.
Funnily enough, the New York Times stated that the rapper “has exceptional business instincts.” just last week. It seems Mr. Jackson is proving them right today, albeit in a kind of scum-bag way. So in the end 50 isn’t filing for bankruptcy because he has no money, but instead because he’s trying to protect his established millions.