Rapper 50 Cent – whose real name is Curtis Jackson – must pay an additional $2million in punitive damages to a woman featured in a sex tape the 40-year-old posted online, a jury decided Friday.
The decision came two weeks after jurors ordered the multiplatinum-selling artist to pay $5million to Lastonia Leviston and Jackson filed for bankruptcy protection in Connecticut after the jury’s verdict.
The jury didn’t buy his bankruptcy bid and handed down the punitive damages in addition to the money they had already awarded Leviston for having her civil rights violated and emotional distress.
A lawyer for Leviston had urged jurors to award her $15million.
Jackson’s attorney, James Renard, had asked them to order his client to pay $700,000 and said in a statement Friday that he was disappointed with the verdict.
The amount Leviston was awarded was the result of a ‘compromise’ the jury foreman told the New York Daily News.
Juror Sylvia Rodriguez said: ‘He has it. He’s 50 Cent. You know he has more than 50 cents,’
‘I don’t think he’s broke. If anything he has it hidden.’
Leviston’s invasion-of-privacy lawsuit argued that Jackson posted online a crudely narrated 13-minute sex-tape she made with a boyfriend in 2008.
In the video, he taunts rival rapper Rick Ross, who isn’t featured in the video but has a child with Leviston.
Renard said Jackson, who did not appear in court but did appear on Good Morning America on Friday, will ask the court to reduce the jury’s award.
When the In Da Club rapper appeared in Manhattan Supreme Court to testify about his alleged bankruptcy Jackson told a jury that the Lamborghinis, Bentleys and Rolls Royces in his music videos were all rentals and that the bling he was seen rocking was borrowed from a jeweler.
While the jury was weighing how much Jackson would be ordered to pay his sex-tape victim, he revealed he only owns three gold chains and that his plastic watch is a Casio G-Shock, according to the New York Post.
Jackson testified: ‘Those cars were rented.
‘It’s like music videos, they say action and you see all these fancy cars but everything goes back to the dealership.’
Even though a recent appraisal estimated the rapper’s worth at $150million, Jackson claimed he is $28million in debt and even owes nearly $2,000 to his own grandfather.
Jackson had admitted that the bankruptcy move was just at attempt to stall the lawsuit payout.
Leviston, 33, said she was devastated when she found out the personal video was posted online and viewed more than four million times.
‘It was like someone had just took a knife, stabbed me in the heart, twisted it and took it out,’ she said.
Jackson did his best to mend fences with Leviston and impress the jury by apologizing to her in court during his testimony.
While looking directly at her, he said: ‘I’m sorry if you feel like I hurt you.’