The rapper 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, halting a dispute over a sex tape.
The 40-year-old rapper, Curtis James Jackson III, filed for chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Hartford, Conn., on Monday, the same day he was supposed to appear in a New York state court to determine whether he owes punitive damages in a 2010 lawsuit filed by Lastonia Leviston, rapper Rick Ross’s ex-girlfriend, court records show.
The Grammy-winning artist and serial entrepreneur filed under what is called Chapter 11 bankruptcy which, as Mashable reports, is a strategy commonly used by big businesses that allows them to retain control of their assets.
It barely took any time for a deluge of jokes to flood social media (including a self-deprecating one by the man himself), with most of them centered around the fact that 50 Cent — born Curtis James Jackson III — has no money left.
However, the filing “allows Mr. Jackson to reorganize his financial affairs as he addresses various professional liabilities and takes steps to position the future of his various business interests,” according to a statement emailed to Mashable by his legal team
The skeletal, five-page bankruptcy petition didn’t reference the lawsuit. Generally, filing for bankruptcy protection halts lawsuits and collection efforts.
“This filing for personal bankruptcy protection permits Mr. Jackson to continue his involvement with various business interests and continue his work as an entertainer, while he pursues an orderly reorganization of his financial affairs,” said William A. Brewer III, his lawyer, in a statement.
Mr. Jackson estimates that his assets and debts, which were not itemized, are worth between $10 million and $50 million, court papers said.
The bankruptcy petition lists his address as a Farmington, Conn., mansion, which boxer Mike Tyson once owned. The 21-bedroom home is reported to have a racquetball court, a home movie theater and an eight-car garage.
50 Cent put his boxing promotion company, SMS Promotions LLC, into bankruptcy protection on May 26. The maneuver was related to the 2010 sex tape lawsuit.
The lawsuit accused him of posting a 13-minute sex tape on his website in 2009 as part of a “rap war” between himself and Mr. Ross, according to court papers.
“Rap wars or beefs are common in the rap and hip hop culture and involve irritating other artists to create more interest, develop more awareness for themselves and create competition, or battles, as to two can create material ‘up to standard’ quickly,” court papers said.
Mr. Jackson appeared on the music scene in 2003 with his gangsta rap anthem “In Da Club.” He has gone to release five commercial albums and has also acted in such films as the soon-to-hit-theaters “Southpaw.”