On his first big hit, 2003's "In da Club," Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson bragged about "my crib, my cars, my pools, my jewels" -- none of which he actually had at the time. Once he acquired such materialistic desires -- through the estimated half billion dollar fortune he amassed over the years -- he now risks losing it all due to his insatiable ego. Despite claiming in a new Instagram video that he has a "good life," the rapper must seek court approval to pay his most basic necessities, and many on social media are calling it "karmic."
In July, 50 surprised fans and critics alike when he filed for bankruptcy in Connecticut. The filing was the result of a court decision ordering him to pay $7 million to Lastonia Leviston, a woman whose sex tape he posted online without her consent. Why was he compelled to shame this woman? For no other reason than because she dated his enemy, rapper Rick Ross, and now this petty feud has put 50 on a downward spiral of financial ruin.
As TMZ reports, the bankruptcy judge is prohibiting the rapper from paying the most basic bills without court approval. Curtis is asking for permission to pay his electric, gas, trash removal, cable, internet, and phone bills so he doesn't get shut down. Jackson owns a 50,000 square foot mansion in Connecticut, which he purchased from Mike Tyson, so between gas and electric, he drops an average of $10,597 monthly.
Jackson got rich thanks to his investment in Vitaminwater, then made a reported $60 to $100 million after the company was sold to Coca-Cola in 2007. His fortune was also acquired through endorsement deals for products such as Reebok, Right Guard, and his own Effen Vodka, G-Unit Records, and G-Unit Clothing Company.
"50 Cent made around $300 million in two years," says Zack O'Malley Greenburg, Forbes senior editor, who has frequently covered the rapper for Forbes' annual Hip-Hop Cash Kings list. "He has always been really good at profiting off whatever his situation is. He even marketed getting shot nine times!"
As the NY Post reports, Curtis bought Leviston's sex tape from her ex who appears in the video, Maurice Murray. Jackson added his own voice-over narration over the video -- degrading Leviston and mocking her physical appearance. The $7 million dollar judgment to her was in addition to the $17 million a federal judge ordered 50 to pay to headphone manufacturer Sleek Audio, after he was accused of copying the design of the company's product. As a result, 50 filed for bankruptcy. Per Forbes, his assets total $24,823,899.18. The court rulings pushed his debt to $32,509,549.91.
Jackson stated in bankruptcy court that most of the wealth he flaunted was false -- to create an illusion that he's bigger than life. He claimed all the jewels and fancy cars that he flashes on social media were borrowed or rented.
"It's like music videos, they say action and you see all these fancy cars but everything goes back to the dealership," Jackson testified in July.
This may explain how a man who was allegedly once worth nearly a billion dollars now requires another man's permission to keep the lights and water on at his home. The rapper's 50,000 square-foot home sits on 17-acres, and costs him $72,000 a month -- including $17,400 a month for the mortgage and $5,000 for gardening, Daily Mail reports. Jackson has been trying to sell the residence since 2007.
Despite his money woes and bankruptcy ruling, 50 claims he's building a mansion in Africa. Watch his video revelation here. He captioned the video: "My crib is almost finished in AFRICA. I'm gonna have the craziest House warming party ever. I'll explain later 😉 I got a good life Man."
If it's such a good life, why is 50 Cent begging a judge in the U.S. to allow him to pay basic utilities at his primary home?
[Image courtesy Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon]
[Image courtesy Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]