50 Cent files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after verdict in sex-tape lawsuit

Rapper 50 Cent's "P.I.M.P." days just hit another snag -- he's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In the Monday filing, Curtis James Jackson III filed for individual bankruptcy protection in Connecticut's U.S. Bankruptcy Court and listed primarily consumer debts that total between $10 million and $50 million, according to court documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

Jackson's forms, which were filed the same day a jury was to decide punitive damages in his high-profile revenge-porn case, also said he has $10 million to $50 million in assets.

Because of the bankruptcy filing, the 40-year-old did not appear in a New York court Monday to testify about his finances, his attorney William A. Brewer II told the Associated Press, adding that his client's business interests "will continue unaffected in the ordinary course" during the Chapter 11 case. 

The filing will allow the Grammy winner to reorganize and refinance his expenses to prevent insolvency. Brewer said the filing allows him to carry on with his various business interests and continue his work as an entertainer.

At a Monday press junket for his forthcoming film "Southpaw," the rapper told E! News that he's just "taking the precautions that any other good businessperson would take in this situation," noting that the filing "does stop things from moving forward that you don't want to move forward."

"You know when you're successful and stuff, you become a target. I don't wanna be a bull's eye," he said.

It's been a rough financial year for the "In da Club" emcee, who's been involved in two high-profile, high-payout court cases.

The bankruptcy declaration came just three days after a New York jury awarded $5 million to Lavonia Leviston in an invasion of privacy lawsuit sparked after finding that Jackson posted a sex tape of her and a former boyfriend with his own crude commentary on his website in 2009. Jackson was ordered to pay $2.5 million for privacy violation and $2.5 million for emotional distress, with punitive damages still to be determined. He reportedly posted the video to embarrass Rick Ross, a rival rapper and the father of Leviston's baby.

Jackson had been expected to deliver to the jury his net-worth statement Monday, Page Six reported.

In May, he briefly put off jury selection in the sex-tape suit in the case after bringing a separate bankruptcy proceeding on behalf of his boxing promotion company, SMS Promotions. Jackson claimed that SMS owed up to $500,000 that it couldn't pay, and his lawyers argued that because he was the sole owner and manager of the company, its bankruptcy would personally affect him significantly.

Two days later, a judge decided that SMS' financial state had nothing to do with the Leviston trial, and let it proceed.

In April 2014, the rapper also lost a court case to headphones manufacturer Sleek Audio, which had accused him of stealing its headphones design for his Sync by 50 product. Jackson was ordered to pay $17.2 million in the judgment, TMZ said.

At the time, he was estimated to be worth about $500 million. In May, Forbes put his net worth at around $155 million.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

4:12 p.m.: This post has been updated with Jackson's quotes from the "Southpaw" junket.

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