50 Cent is currently in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy battle where various people who have successfully sued him for legitimate reasons (posting a sex tape online, stealing the designs for his headphones) are trying to recover money he owes them. We recently heard that the judge requested 50 to appear in court to explain why he has been posting photos on social media in which he’s posing with stacks of cash in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. 50 has been doing this for years, and after posing for bankruptcy he seems to have amped it up a little.
50s legal team, the one which compared his creditor’s repayment plan to slavery (they really did this), has an explanation for all that. Apparently it’s for his “brand,” the cash is fake, and 50 is doing it for publicity. Also, 50 doesn’t really own that estate in Africa he tweeted about and failed to disclose on his financial statement to the court, he made that up for Twitter too:
50 Cent… said in a court filing late Tuesday that the stacks of cash in the photos are actually prop money, which is specially made for the studio lighting used in filming music videos and photo shoots…
“As a hip-hop artist and entertainer, it is imperative that I continue to project aspirational goals of success in order to preserve my brand and those I represent,” Mr. Jackson said. “What I say and what I do on social media has a direct impact on my music sales and the viewership on my television shows…
“Just because I am sensitive to the needs of maintaining my brand does not mean that I am hiding assets or that I have lied on my filings to this bankruptcy case,” Mr. Jackson said in court papers.
In a footnote, Mr. Jackson’s lawyers point out that their client would know better than to post photos of secret assets: “If [Mr. Jackson] was attempting to hide assets (which he has not done), one would think that those assets would never have been disclosed on social media for all to see.”
Several of the rapper’s posts were flagged by Lastonia Leviston, who won $7 million in a sex-tape dispute but hasn’t been able to collect that money since Mr. Jackson filed for bankruptcy last summer. Two other groups—Mr. Jackson’s mortgage lender and a partner in a failed headphone deal owed roughly $18 million—joined her in a fight to have an outside financial professional manage his money until he pays off the $30 million he owes creditors…
One of Mr. Jackson’s controversial Instagram photos showed cash piles in his fridge. Another showed him arranging bundles to spell out the word “BROKE.”
What about the post about his purchase of a luxury home in Africa? “I do not own, nor have I ever owned, any real property in Africa,” Mr. Jackson said in Tuesday’s filing.
In court papers, Mr. Jackson’s lawyers said that the social media posts “are not necessarily representative of [Mr. Jackson’s] real life.” Celebrities often borrow items like jewelry “to market products or create the illusion of enhanced wealth or success,” they added.
“[Mr. Jackson’s] public image is necessary to these endorsements and social media is a critical advertising medium. But it is just that—advertising,” they said, also noting “the only difference between such an advertisement and a posting on social media is the enhanced illusion of reality, which is what makes social media such a valuable advertising medium.”
Tuesday night’s court filings also slammed the Justice Department’s U.S. Trustee Program, whose officials patrol the bankruptcy courts for wrongdoing and called for an investigation into the social media posts: “The fact that UST believed the posts were real is simply proof of their efficacy.”
I love the circular logic in that final statement “The fact that UST believed the posts were real is simply proof of their efficacy.” 50 is trolling everyone, he’s not promoting himself. He just looks like he’s trying to hide assets from both his creditors and the IRS and I hope the court throws the book at him. 50’s side has filed a “debt-repayment plan that promises to pay $23 million over the next five years, plus a large chunk of any money he wins in a malpractice lawsuit.” That plan is still awaiting approval from the judge, although the creditors are said to be in agreement.
So instead of being respectful and letting his lawyers see if the ridiculous spin they tried to put on his cash pics would stick, 50 Instagrammed a photo of himself outside of court with cash stuffed in his pants. Then he posted yet another photo responding to the NY Times’s coverage, which was staid, dry and funny as hell. The NY Times’ Jonah Bromwich wrote “If the hearing left Mr. Jackson feeling chastened, he certainly did not show it on social media.” 50 took offense to that and then posted a comically oversized photo where he’s shown wrapping presents in front of a scene of homelessness or something. I doubt he has the skill to do this, he must have hired someone to put that together. I screencapped these Instagram posts on the off chance that one of his lawyers convinces him to remove them, but he’s come this far, I bet they’ll stay up.