50 Cent files for bankruptcy protection

Rapper 50 Cent is filing for bankruptcy protection in a strategic business move.
Rapper 50 Cent is filing for bankruptcy protection in a strategic business move.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES • Rapper 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, reporting debts and assets in the range of US$10 million to US$50 million (S$13.5 million to S$67.8 million).

The New York-born entertainer called the voluntary Chapter 11 filing in a Connecticut bankruptcy court a "strategic business move" that would not affect fans.

The 40-year-old said in Los Angeles while promoting his new film Southpaw: "They won't see any adjustments... I'm clear on my target and I'm not going to allow myself to fall apart based on little things."

Lawyers for the Get Rich Or Die Tryin' singer filed court papers in United States Bankruptcy Court in Hartford under the musician's real name, Curtis James Jackson III.

It came three days after he was ordered by a Manhattan court to pay US$5 million in damages to a woman over a sex tape posted online in 2009. The case stemmed from a video in which he is accused of adding a commentary to a tape that the woman made with her boyfriend and posting it online without her permission.

The woman in the sex tape on Monday filed court papers in a bid to continue with the punitive damages phase of the trial involving 50 Cent, which would normally be halted under the bankruptcy filing.

Last year, he was ordered to pay US$16 million to Sleek Audio, a headphone maker with which he was once affiliated, after the company accused him of spreading trade secrets and other misdeeds.

As the sex tape case went forward, 50 Cent last May put into bankruptcy protection a boxing promotion company he owns, SMS Promotions.

50 Cent was born in poverty in New York, the son of a 15-year-old mother who was dealing cocaine and was murdered when he was a child.

In recent years, he has competed with Dr Dre and Jay-Z as a rapper-turned-businessman. In May, Forbes named him as one of the five wealthiest hip-hop artists in the US with a net worth of US$155 million, largely from his business interests in clothing, beverages and music technology.

Mr William Brewer, an attorney for 50 Cent, said the bankruptcy filing would let him "continue his involvement with various business interests and continue his work as an entertainer" while he reorganises his financial affairs. The filing lists his liabilities as in the region of US$10 million to US$50 million and his estimated assets in the same range.

His latest album, Street King Immortal, is awaiting release and his movie, Southpaw, in which he plays a manipulative manager and boxing promoter, is due out in the US next week.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2015, with the headline '50 Cent files for bankruptcy protection'. Print Edition | Subscribe