In the wake of filing for bankruptcy, rapper Curtis Jackson, aka “50 Cent,” has pulled back the curtain on his seemingly lavish lifestyle.
Before filing for bankruptcy, 50 Cent was hit with a court order to pay $US5 million to Lastonia Leviston. The woman had won the payment in court after the rapper allegedly released a sex tape of her to embarrass her boyfriend and the rapper’s nemesis, Maurice Murray.
Leviston’s lawyers believed 50 Cent’s bankruptcy was a way to avoid paying Leviston, so they took him to court again. But on the stand, 50 Cent indicated his wealth was little more than an illusion. In other words, he merely he led the public to believe he was a baller. Jackson says he did this because the whole music industry is about aspiring to something greater.
Here are six ways 50 Cent says he embellished his hip-hop lifestyle, according to a transcript of the testimony he gave in the Leviston lawsuit:
1. He recycled his gold chains.
50 Cent claims he could barely fill a jewellery drawer, let alone a whole jewellery chest. He said that he only actually owns “two or three chains” at “$US30,000, $US40,000” each. But, how does he make it seem as if he has more? The rapper says he takes those chains to a jeweller who can transform them into new, unrecognizable pieces of bling.
Lawyer: How many chains have you got?
Jackson: Two or three chains.
Lawyer: I’m sorry?
Jackson: Two or three different chains. What I do is take the jewellery back to the jeweller and they redo the jewellery with the same gold from the last thing. During album cycles I change, so you’ll see a whole lot of stuff. But I take it back and have them change it into new stuff.
Lawyer: You have 30 to $US40,000 in gold chains?
2. He traded in cars to get new ones.
Ten days before his testimony, interviewer Nick Grimshaw said 50 Cent bought a $US300,000 Rolls Royce on a whim right before an interview. (Above, 50 Cent makes light of his bankruptcy with photo of himself with a smart car.)
But, according to 5o Cent’s testimony, that story wasn’t exactly true:
Lawyer: It is a false story in the sense it never happened?
Jackson: No, I got the car. But I took two cars that I had that back.
Lawyer: So the story that came out, you know the story, which is you just decided you just had to get a Rolls Royce and you bought one —
Jackson: That is the guy’s interpretation of it.
3. He doesn’t actually own all those cars.
50 Cent once took Forbes magazine on a tour of his car collection, which consisted of three similarly-painted blue vehicles, including a Range Rover, a Lamborghini Mucielago, a Bentley Mulsanne, and a Yamaha motorcycle. 50 Cent had really become good at presenting a lavish, mogul lifestyle to the press. But here’s what he says the truth about his cars really was:
Lawyer: Have you filmed yourself showing all your cars or showing a lot of cars that you now say aren’t yours, but have you made films showing off all the cars that you own?
Jackson: You mean like MTV “Cribs,” maybe.
Lawyer: I mean like you standing in front of a camera saying this is my Lamborghini and this is my Rolls and this is my Ferrari?
Jackson: I did it once.
Lawyer: You did that?
Lawyer: Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls, Chevy Blazer or Suburbans, I’m sorry, they were specially equipped and cost a few hundred thousand dollars each?
Lawyer: You did all that and said those cars were yours?
Jackson: Yes. At that time, those cars were rented.
Below, watch 50 Cent show off his rented cars on another TV show:
4. He says he never actually placed a $US1.6 million Mayweather/Pacquiao bet.
On March 3, 50 Cent talked to The Breakfast Club morning show on Power 105.1 in New York and said that he was betting $US1.6 million on Floyd Mayweather Jr. to defeating Manny Pacquiao in the boxers’ much-hyped bout that happened in May. Mayweather did win, and though Jackson has said he won the bet, even on “Conan” (video of that portion of the interview has since been taken off the show’s website), according Jackson’s testimony he never placed the bet.
Lawyer: Is it correct, sir, that you publicly stated — and you said it on Conan O’Brien the other night — that you bet 1.6 million dollars on Floyd Mayweather to win the fight that took place in early May?
Lawyer: You said you won that bet?
Lawyer: You won one million dollars?
Jackson: No, I didn’t say that.
Lawyer: You didn’t say that on the Conan show?
Lawyer: OK. So what did you win on that bet?
Jackson: I didn’t win anything on that.
Jackson: I didn’t win anything on that, actually.
Lawyer: Did you make the bet?
Lawyer: You never made the bet?
5. He doesn’t own flashy watches.
Jackson has flaunted expensive watches on his Instagram account, while on the red carpet, and performing at concerts. But according to his testimony, the rapper/actor said he only owns three or four watches and that “they are not big name watches.”
In fact, he told the court that the watch he was wearing that day was a Casio G-SHOCK, which retails between $US100 and $US450, according to its website. Jackson went on to say that in the hip-hop culture, “People only follow things that they think is the next level” but that it’s all deceiving, just like a music video. “They say action and you see all these fancy cars,” he explained, “and when they say cut everything goes back to the dealership.”
6. The 64 carat ring is not his either.
On September 3, 2013, Jackson posted two pictures on his Instagram account of him holding what he describes as a 65 karat Cartier ring.
In one picture of him wearing the ring the caption reads, “I’m the coolest man alive ask around my hood.”
In the testimony, at first Jackson cannot recollect the ring. He even states, “I don’t think it is possible to fit 65 carats [on a ring].”
However, when he’s shown a picture of the ring on Instagram he admits that he did post it and that he did not own it. “It was a borrowed piece of jewellery from a jeweller,” Jackson told the court.
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