It seems that a Connecticut judge is calling 50 Cent’s bluff.
The Queens, N.Y., rapper was ordered to pay $5 million in compensatory damages to Lastonia Leviston, a woman who appears in a sex tape that 50 Cent allegedly leaked on the Internet in 2009. But 50 Cent abruptly filed for bankruptcy in federal court Friday, which stopped the civil suit in New York state court from continuing—just as the Manhattan grand jury was about to consider punitive damages in the case.
Well, federal bankruptcy Judge Ann Nevins thinks that the show must go on.
“It is in everyone’s interest here, including Mr. Jackson’s, to reach finality,” Nevins said in a Hartford courtroom, according to the New York Daily News.
In 50 Cent’s bankruptcy filing, he painted a picture of how he started from the bottom and bravely climbed his way to the top against all odds. His lawyers also made a point of describing how 50 Cent’s dire financial situation was not because of outlandish spending but because of legal cases that have the rapper’s bank account in the red.
“It is easy to forget that Mr. Jackson grew up in poverty in South Jamaica, a rough neighborhood of Queens, New York,” 50’s filing reads, according to Gawker.
“Notwithstanding this fact, Mr. Jackson’s bankruptcy filing is not primarily a result of excessive current expenses exceeding Mr. Jackson’s current revenues, but rather the substantial costs of litigation and resulting awards against Mr. Jackson in the past year which total in excess of $20 million,” the filing reportedly continues.
According to the Daily News, Nevins said that it would be “unfair” to make Leviston foot the bill for a second trial in federal court just to get what she’s owed.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.