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.
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.”
If 50 cent was to go broke he still got a house with 52 Rooms , a gym , and a Club ???????? man got racks ???? pic.twitter.com/kX9BFrie1T— August 11th?? (@MJSingleton17) July 13, 2015
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.
[bankruptcy court] Judge: What are two quarters worth? [awkward silence in the courtroom] Judge: Zero dollars! [50 Cent starts weeping]— Exploding Unicorn (@XplodingUnicorn) July 13, 2015
50 Cent has filed for bankruptcy? That makes 0 Cents.— Brett Phipps (@InverteBrett) July 13, 2015
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.
50 Cent ain't broke. This is a last-ditch effort to dodge having to pay Lastonia Leviston that $5 million.— Meek Melies (@CineMasai_) July 13, 2015
Get your money, Lastonia Leviston— JagunEsq (@JagunEsq) July 13, 2015
But when the wealthy are actually struggling with money issues (which doesn’t seem to be the real issue in 50 Cent’s case).
Alot of 50 Cent's broke jokes because he filed Chapter 11. Which just goes to show you 90% of ppl have no idea what they're talking about— Huey Mack (@HueyMack) July 13, 2015
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.