Even the Rich and Famous File Bankruptcy
You may not have heard of Curtis James Jackson III but you might know 50 Cent. Mr. Jackson is the rapper 50 Cent and he filed bankruptcy earlier this year. His filing was prompted by a $17.2 million arbitration award against him over a failed business venture involving the manufacture and distribution of custom ear buds. He now claims his lawyers were at fault for not advising him against entering into the venture and is seeking $75 million from them, as reported by the Wall Street Journal here. Also included in the filing is a $7 million award to Lastonia Leviston who accused him of posting a sex tape of her online as part of a “rap war” with her ex-boyfriend.
The bankruptcy has brought more bad news back to light for Mr. Jackson. Five years ago, in 2010, a woman was awarded $25,000 in damages against Mr. Jackson as a result of injuries she suffered in 2004 when Mr. Jackson made a surprise appearance at a hip-hop concert in Springfield, Massachusetts. During his performance he became angered that someone in the audience threw water or some sort of liquid on him. He and his entourage jumped into the crowd and a melee ensued, during which the woman was punched in the face and passed out. A second woman was kicked in the eye. She was also awarded $25,000 by the same judge, who called the actions “beyond the bounds of decency.”
Not All Debts Are Discharged in Bankruptcy
The two women are suing Mr. Jackson in his bankruptcy to have the awards to them declared to be nondischargeable. Debts that are incurred through “willful or malicious” injury are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. To determine whether a debt is nondischargeable the claimant, in this case the two women, must file what is called an adversary proceeding, which is a lawsuit within the bankruptcy, to determine whether or not the debt can be discharged.