Curtis Jackson, the rapper known as 50 Cent, appeared at a federal bankruptcy court hearing in Hartford, Connecticut on Wednesday to answer questions about Instagram photos of him posing next to or near wads of cash. In a February hearing, judge Ann Nevins said that the photos caused her to be “concerned about allegations of nondisclosure and a lack of transparency.” The Instagram posts were brought to the court’s attention by Mr. Jackson’s creditors.
In one picture, bundles of bills are arranged into letters spelling out the word “Broke.” Another photo appeared to be of his refrigerator filled with cash. Holley Claiborn, an attorney for the U.S. Trustee’s Office, urged the judge to order an independent review of Mr. Jackson’s assets. Nevins didn’t rule on the request Wednesday. A status conference has been scheduled for April 6, but she could issue a decision before then.
In a court filing, Mr. Jackson claimed that the cash in his Instagram pictures was “prop money” used to boost the rapper’s brand and image. The document stated, “Just because I am photographed in or next to a certain vehicle, wearing an article of clothing, holding a product, sitting next to what appears to be large sums of money or modeling expensive pieces of jewelry does not meant that I own everything in those photos.”
As a rapper, 50 Cent enjoyed enormous commercial success with his music when he first emerged on the scene. He later increased his wealth with various product and merchandising deals over the years. Unfortunately, failed business ventures and several lawsuits that resulted in penalties of more than $25 million, caused him to file for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy filing came just days after he was ordered to pay $5 million to a woman who accused him of posting a sex tape of her online. He was eventually ordered to pay her an additional $2 million.
Mr. Jackson’s lawyers disclosed in court on Wednesday that they have come to an agreement with the creditors who hold the vast majority of Mr. Jackson’s debt. In the bankruptcy case, he is proposing to pay 74 percent to 92 percent of the unsecured claims, depending on whether he meets certain payment deadlines. He would pay about $23 million in cash over five years, as well as up to 70 percent of any award he wins in a legal malpractice case against his lawyers in another case.