50 Cent says flashy lifestyle is fake
LOS ANGELES - 50 Cent may put on the lavish lifestyle of a rap tycoon, but he says the bling-bling is all returned to the store.
The rapper, who has filed for bankruptcy as he faces potentially huge penalties in a lawsuit over a sex tape, has testified in court that his ostentatious displays of wealth are all a show.
50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, said that his flashy cars and jewellery were all borrowed and that his own possessions included a Casio rather than Rolex watch, according to reports from Tuesday’s court session in New York.
“It’s like music videos, they say action and you see all these fancy cars but everything goes back to the dealership,” he was quoted saying by the New York Post tabloid.
The New York Daily News said 50 Cent told the court that he did not place a $1.6 million bet on boxer Floyd Mayweather’s fight against Manny Pacquiao, despite publicly claiming to do so.
50 Cent said in a statement to the court that he is worth $4.4 million, even though Forbes magazine earlier this year estimated his wealth at $155 million. 50 Cent also claimed he made just 10 cents for each of his 48 million album sales, totalling $4.8 million
The rapper is seeking bankruptcy protection, which could shield him from payouts, after a jury ordered him to pay $5 million to a woman who appeared in a sex tape that went online in 2009.
50 Cent –– posing in a wig as his alter ego Pimpin’ Curly –– narrates the woman’s sexual encounter and mocks fellow rapper Rick Ross, her ex-partner. At the time the video surfaced, Ross and 50 Cent were trading barbs via video, lyrics and interviews.
Jackson has said Leviston’s then-boyfriend gave him the 2008 tape and that, while he didn’t actually post it online, the boyfriend said she didn’t mind if he did.
50 Cent reportedly apologized in court to the woman, who could seek far more money in the form of punitive damages saying: “I’m sorry if you feel like I hurt you.”
His lawyer, James Renard, added that his client’s bank balance is quickly approaching zero due to unpaid debts.
He said, “That’s the current financial condition and we believe that’s very important with respect to the assessment of any damages.”
50 Cent, who lives in a Connecticut mansion once owned by boxer Mike Tyson, is best known for the album and movie Get Rich or Die Tryin’.
He has also been an active businessman who earned an estimated $100 million in 2007 by selling a stake in energy drink Vitaminwater and has invested in mining in South Africa.
But he was less revealing about how much he earned from various partnerships, licensing agreements and business deals with larger corporations such as The Walt Disney Co., Intel and Reebok.
“You have to ask my accountant,” he said when asked whether he earned $100 million when Vitaminwater was purchased by The Coca-cola Co. in 2007.
But last year he was ordered to pay $16 million to Sleek Audio after being accused of leaking its trade secrets. –– AP
50 Cent says he exaggerates his lavish lifestyle.