Here’s Why Laughing At 50 Cent’s “Bankruptcy” Misses The Point

Indrani Sengupta
Why are we laughing about the irony that 50 Cent is now broke (which he's not. It's a chapter 11 bankruptcy, people) when there's a bigger issue at hand?

In May, Forbes valued 50 Cent’s net worth at $155 million, placing him at No. 4 on the list of wealthiest hip-hop artists. Today, he filed for bankruptcy.

What happened?

Curtis James Jackson III

50 Cent, legal name Curtis James Jackson III, had been taken to court by Lastonia Leviston, former girlfriend of fellow rapper Rick Ross, who claimed that he had released a sex tape of her online. Leviston claimed this was part of a “rap war” between Jackson and Ross. A week after jurors decided that Jackson should pay $5 million to Leviston, he filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. In general, bankruptcy protection guards against lawsuits and collection efforts.

Jackson’s lawyer, William A. Brewer III, claims the filing does not anything to do with the lawsuit:

“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.”

Leviston’s lawyer, Hunter Shkolnik, counters:

“We think this is a failed attempt to avoid paying this woman who has been hurt so badly by his actions."

It turns out that intentional acts, such as releasing a sex tape, cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. But it could reduce damages Jackson owes after losing a $17.2 million lawsuit last year.  

50 Cent’s malicious releasing of Leviston’s sex tape is indefensible, but our conversation over his bankruptcy shouldn’t focus instead on how funny it is that such a rich man has sunk so low.

Because that distracts from the real issue at hand: that a man who derived a sick sense of power from humiliating his rival’s girlfriend (misogynistic on so many levels) is now attempting to weasel out of the consequences. If you’re going to mock 50 Cent, mock that.

But when the wealthy are actually struggling with money issues (which doesn’t seem to be the real issue in 50 Cent’s case).

Let’s not point and laugh at the cosmic irony. Instead, let’s start a conversation about financial literacy, one that can benefit people across the socioeconomic levels. 

Read more: Warren Buffett Admits To Rare Investing Blunder