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50 Cent seeks personal bankruptcy to stop civil suit

Many California fans of rapper 50 Cent are aware of the recent legal troubles that followed the unauthorized release of a video showing a woman performing sex acts. The footage was posted online, and the woman sued the rapper; she was ultimately successful in court. However, as the date neared for a jury to determine the amount of the punitive award in the case, 50 Cent sought bankruptcy protection in two separate filings -- one for a business he owns and one personal bankruptcy filing.

In his personal bankruptcy case, 50 Cent claims nearly $28.5 million in debt. Those obligations include a range of household expenses, an automobile lease and at least one personal loan by a family member. In addition, an arbitration award of $18.4 million and the $5 million award that the jury already awarded for the sex tape trial were included within the total amount owed. His assets were listed at $24.5 million.

In a recent hearing, a federal judge commented on the timing of the filings. She stated that 50 Cent had gone to great lengths to shift the civil litigation into another court. She ruled that the jury will be able to meet and determine the punitive award due to the woman, despite the fact that the musician is now involved in two bankruptcy actions.

As these matters play out, it is possible that the woman who prevailed in her civil litigation against 50 Cent will receive very little in the way of monetary compensation for those efforts. The bankruptcy process will give the rapper the chance to repay his creditors using his existing assets, and there may not be enough to go around. While many may feel that this is an unfair outcome for the woman, individuals in California and elsewhere are able to successfully use personal bankruptcy protection in many similar situations.

Source: Hartford Courant, "Federal Judge Says 50 Cent Sex-Tape Case Can Proceed Despite Bankruptcy", David Owens, July 17, 2015

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