40 year-old rapper Curtis James Jackson III, better known as his on-stage alias “50 Cent” filed for bankruptcy on 13th July 2015. It was a sudden move that no one expected since there was no indication that he was experiencing financial troubles.
50 Cent is more than just a rapper, he has been labeled a rapper/entertainer. He has also embarked on a variety of business ventures. This includes his famous Glaceau Vitaminwater endorsement that earned him hundreds of millions when it was acquired by Coca-Cola.
Recent events surrounding a sex-tape involving a woman named Lavonia Leviston require Curtis to pay up to $5 million in damages. After failing to sway the judge’s decision by claiming protection under bankruptcy laws via his boxing promotion company, he has been forced to proceed with the case against him.
The sex-tape case is quite a bizarre case that begins in 2009. Curtis had been involved in a rap feud with another rapper named “Rick Ross”. After a few “disses” between each other, Curtis decided to get a bit personal and got his hands on a sex tape which included Lavonia Leviston.
Lavonia is the mother to Rick’s children. The sex-tape shows Lavonia with her former boyfriend Maurice Murray. As a way to push the feud towards his favour, 50 Cent releases the video and adds his own commentary on top. He films himself in a comedic persona meant to mock Rick Ross and adds it to the sex-tape before he releases it onto the Internet. This was all done between 2009 – 2010, and it wasn’t until recent times that the case has escalated to its present situation.
Failing to convince the judge that he is protected under bankruptcy laws as a business owner, he has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy is different to the liquidation of assets type of bankruptcy will often think of (which is usually a chapter 7 bankruptcy). The chapter 11 bankruptcy laws provide a legal framework for debt reorganisation.
By filing for a chapter 11 bankruptcy, 50 Cent is able to be protected under bankruptcy laws therefore protecting his assets from things such as the sex-tape case. Curtis does not seem to be too conflicted about filing for bankruptcy. He states that he filed for bankruptcy to “stop things moving forward that you don’t want moving forward.” Obviously we can only speculate and read between the lines, but from what we have heard and seen from 50 Cent, he doesn’t seem to be too worried.
He is really broke?
Many stars and wealthy people have filed for bankruptcy throughout their lifetime. Obviously they are in some sort of financial trouble if they are filing for bankruptcy, but it doesn’t mean that they are always broke. In 50 Cent’s case, it could be that he is protecting himself and his assets against legal action that is being taken against him.
Travis Carter, the spokesperson for 50 Cent said that Curtis’ business interests “will continue unaffected” even during his time in bankruptcy. Lavonia has appealed to the judges to finish the trial case even though Curtis has filed for bankruptcy.
In a strange series of events, Curtis has managed to get himself into a situation where he is able to live by his credo “Get Rich Or Die Tryin”.