Rapper 50 Cent, who was born Curtis Jackson, used legal wrangling to avoid a very costly lawsuit that was due to start this past Tuesday. The lawsuit was brought by rapper Rick Ross’ baby mama because of a sex tape that Jackson posted online. The video depicts Lastonia Leviston and her former boyfriend, Maurice Murray, engaged in various sex acts, and it drew over four million views and almost caused Leviston to commit suicide.
Jackson’s boxing company, SMS Promotions filed for bankruptcy moments before the sex tape lawsuit was to start. The rapper claims that SMS owes $500,000 that it cannot pay, despite the rapper being worth an estimated $140 million. By doing this he was able to get a federal judge to remove the Manhattan state civil suit brought by Leviston. Leviston’s lawyer called the rapper’s tactic “The most egregious case of sandbagging he’d ever seen.” In addition, the explanation for why the business bankruptcy could affect Jackson’s personal pocketbook was called by Levinson’s lawyer “weak.” Especially in light of Jackson’s reportedly winning $1.6 million betting on the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Jackson’s lawyer received verbal chastisement from Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten, who was upset that the rapper’s lawyer did not show up in the courtroom or let him know earlier that he was intending to file bankruptcy. “You really test the patience of this court. You could have told us that at 11 AM rather than not show up. Not to mention the tremendous inconvenience to the court. … You can understand my impatience,” the judge stated.
But it looks like 50 Cent dodged a legal bullet that would have cost him a significant amount of money.