This week rapper 50 Cent (birth name Curtis Jackson) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, just days after a court ordered him to pay $5 million dollars to Lastonia Leviston, the woman who accused him of posting a sex tape (featuring her and an ex-boyfriend) without her permission online. Jackson’s court papers states he has both assets and debts ranging anywhere from $10 million to $50 million.
Back in 2007, 50 Cent was regarded as one of the world’s wealthiest rappers, mainly due to his stake in Vitamin Water, which was sold to Coca-Cola for more than $4 billion. It was estimated that 50 Cent walked away from the deal with upwards of $100 million. In fact, this past spring Forbes estimated his net worth at $155 million, putting him at number four on the list of wealthiest hip hop artists.
50 Cent’s attorney told The Hollywood Reporter that filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the rapper’s way of getting his finances in order so he can continue to fund business ventures in the future.
“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. Mr. Jackson’s business interests will continue unaffected in the ordinary course during the pendency of the chapter 11 case,” attorney William A. Brewer III said in his statement.
Last week a New York City court held 50 Cent liable for invasion of privacy for posting (and narrating) an online video that featured Leviston having sex. Although 50 Cent claims he wasn’t the one who actually posted the video back in 2009, Leviston says he did it to embarrass her ex-boyfriend at the time, rapper Rick Ross. Ross was not the man in the video, but he was one of 50 Cent’s biggest rivals at the time the video went viral.