Curtis Lee Jackson III, also known as renowned rapper 50 Cent, has failed to pay legal damages of $17.5 million to an over-the ear headphone company that he partnered with.
The 39-year-old mega-star was ordered to pay a Florida headphone company $17.5 million in damages last April after a dispute over the ownership of the business went to arbitration. As of now, $4.5 million is owed in attorney fees, and another $12.5 million to Sleek Audio company, whom he has been battling in court with for over three years. The district court of Miami sided with the headphone manufacturer, but 50 Cent never paid any of the damages.
In court documents, the audio company accused 50 Cent of stealing the design that he partnered with them to conceptualize and asked them to manufacture.
50 Cent has been selling a very similar headphone line since breaking with Sleek in 2011. The arbitrator that ruled against Jackson estimated that the value of the conceptualization was about $12 million dollars in the three years he had been selling them. In May, Forbes business magazine estimated that 50 cent was worth $140 million. It is not known why he did not pay the damages awarded to Sleek, nor why he did not pay the attorney fees.
The rapper is famous for his heady rap music and provocative lyrics, frequently singing about money. "In Da Club," "Have a Baby by me," and "I Get Money" are some of his more famous hits. He is also known for a dramatic personal life that began when he was a young boy living in poverty, and having survived being shot multiple times, including in the face, in a drive-by shooting.
Overcoming these obstacles has made him an icon for many, frequently singing alongside Eminem and other rappers, and recently launching his own clothing line.
A source close to the rapper says that he has complete access to his business accounts, but that his personal account has been frozen and the money is being garnished by Sleek Audio as a result of the case.
Jackson's attorney says that they have been "desperately fighting" the action and that fans should not worry, because Jackson and his assets are "adequately protected."