50 Cent’s ‘pound of flesh’ bankruptcy battle
50 Cent is trying to “hide behind a wall of professionals” in an attempt to evade his recent $7 million court loss, according to Lavonia Leviston’s lawyer.
In July the 40-year-old rapper was ordered by the courts to pay $7 million to Leviston after he shared a sex tape of her online without permission.
Also last month 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, filed for bankruptcy and in new documents obtained in relation to the insolvency case, his lawyer James Berman insists the Hold On musician is a victim.
"Ms. Leviston wants her 'pound of flesh.’ It is not enough that she obtained a jury verdict and assessment of punitive damages,” Berman emphasised in the legal papers, according to the New York Daily News. “She wants more than that. She wants to punish [Jackson] by continuing to litigate against him in this bankruptcy case.”
50 Cent’s attorney has asked the courts not to allow legal representatives from Leviston’s camp to question the rapper or his financial managers in the bankruptcy proceedings, claiming she already went this route in the sex tape case. 50 Cent seems to be coming up short in proving his insolvency, as the star has no paperwork to support claims he loaned millions of dollars to various businesses over the years with little return. He has also been deferring direct questions about his finances to account managers.
Jurors awarded Leviston $2.5 million for violation of civil rights and using her image without permission, $2.5 million for intentional infliction of emotional distress and $2 million in punitive damages, making 50 Cent’s total debt to her $7 million.
Leviston’s lawyer Elizabeth Austin completely disagrees with his attorney Berman’s latest assessment, claiming the hip hop star is trying to pull a fast one with his insolvency case.
“[Jackson] filed this bankruptcy as a strategic move to delay and frustrate [the sex tape case] and since that did not work, [he] is now trying to use the bankruptcy proceeding to frustrate [Leviston's] attempts to protect her rights as a creditor,” Austin wrote in new legal documents. “[He is trying to] hide behind a wall of professionals who appear to have free rein over all of [his] affairs and finances, [but he] has a duty to answer to his creditors.”
Leviston isn’t the only huge debt 50 Cent may avoid if he is granted bankruptcy. His largest creditor is Sleek Audio, a company owed $17 million from its claim he stole their idea for headphones.
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