50 Cent Files For Bankruptcy, Again -- Is The Artist Really Penniless?

Alap Naik Desai

Rapper 50 Cent has filed for bankruptcy, again.

50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson III, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Hartford, Connecticut. According to the court documents, the initial Chapter 11, Connecticut bankruptcy filing mentions the rapper has between $10 and $50 million in assets. But unfortunately, his liabilities match up perfectly with his assets.

In legal terms, 50 Cents claims he has between $10 and $50 million in liabilities. In short, as per the legal documents, 50 Cent is so tied up financially that he can't afford to shell out a single penny or in his case, even a single cent! It is interesting to note that the bankruptcy filing materialized within a span of just three days after a financially-hurting verdict against 50 Cent.

After a deliberation of just 70 minutes, a Manhattan jury had awarded $5 million in punitive damages to a Florida-based Lastonia Leviston, whose image was illegally used by 50 Cent in a doctored sex-tape. The jury sided with the woman, concurring that the "Get Rich or Die Tryin' " rapper had indeed violated her civil rights and used her image without permission. Though the woman isn't demanding her cut from the revenue garnered from the four million hits the video got, she did maintain that the act ruined her life and forced her to contemplate suicide multiple times.

It isn't coincidence that 50 Cent would file for bankruptcy right around the time he was to hand over financial statements to the court. Interestingly, the jury had asked for the statements to calculate the amount of additional damages Leviston is to receive. It is apparent that filing for bankruptcy would accord some breathing room for 50 Cent while he decides his next move, undoubtedly to wriggle out of paying $5 million and then some more.

Interestingly, 50 Cent is quite accustomed to such stall tactics, Leviston's lawyer had claimed when the rapper had filed for bankruptcy in May. His convincing argument had ensured the Judge insisting on keeping the civil trial going on, notwithstanding the financial troubles 50 Cent claimed he was in.

50 Cent has one more reason to file for bankruptcy, despite the New York Times praising him for his "exceptional business instincts." He is facing flak from Sleek Audio, the company that makes premium headphones. According to the company, instead of promoting their headphones, the rapper stole the headphone design and attempted to market it on his own. Apparently, 50 Cent lost the case and is expected to fork out $17.2 million, reported TMZ.

With an estimated net worth of $155 million, 50 Cent is one of the wealthiest hip hop artists. But if the lawsuits and the bankruptcy filings are any indication, his financial health doesn't look so good.

[Image Credit: Jeff Bottari / Getty Images]