Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson was called back to bankruptcy court this week after the Queens rapper posted pictures of money to his Instagram page. Some of 50’s creditors were concerned the Hip Hop mogul was not reporting all of his income, but those issues appear to be settled.
The disclosure came Wednesday during a hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ann Nevins in Hartford.
The judge scheduled Wednesday’s hearing to hear what 50 Cent had to say about a variety of photos posted on social media — including one that showed him lying amid bundles of cash and another with the bundles arranged to spell “BROKE.”
The largest of 50 Cent’s creditors raised questions about the photos in a court filing and questioned whether the entertainer was reporting all of his income.
Jackson’s lawyers got together with the creditors’ lawyers to assure them that the cash in the photos was fake and that Jackson was reporting all income and expenses as required by the bankruptcy court. Jackson’s lawyers also insisted the social media posts were part of Jackson’s persona as 50 Cent.
Jackson’s social media postings are key to maintaining the rapper’s brand and assuring future income that will be used to pay his creditors, said Patrick Neligan, Jackson’s primary bankruptcy lawyer.
Hip-hop culture is “aspirational,” Neligan told the judge. Many of Jackson’s fans “come from poverty. They want their favorite rapper to be rich. Money is important.” He also told the judge that Jackson does not have a house in Africa.
Jackson’s mastery of social media, Neligan said, has allowed Jackson to turn what could have been a catastrophe into something positive that has allowed him to stay engaged with his fans. In each of his social media posts, Neligan said, Jackson is promoting one of his businesses, which in the end is good for Jackson and his creditors.
And for social media to be successful, it must be funny, creative, provocative and make people want to look at it, Neligan said.
Daniel Gosch, a lawyer for Jackson’s largest creditor, Sleek Audio, and the writer of the court filing that raised questions about the social media posts, told the judge that he now understands what Jackson is doing. He said he is confident the money was fake and that Jackson is complying with the requirements of the bankruptcy court.
Lynne B. Xerras, a lawyer for SunTrust Bank, said the meetings with Jackson’s attorneys helped her understand how hard Jackson works and how his social media posts are a crucial part of his business. “His value depends on his image,” she said.
Those talks have been ongoing over the past three weeks and have yielded an agreement that, if approved by Nevins, would have all secured creditors paid in full and have unsecured creditors paid between 74 and 92 percent of what they are owed over five years. The faster Jackson pays them, the lower the repayment.
Jackson filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July after a Florida woman won a $7 million verdict against him for posting a sex tape of her to his website. The woman has since agreed to a $6 million settlement that is included in Jackson’s bankruptcy plan.
Jackson claims to have assets of $19.86 million and liabilities of $36.09 million.
By the time the 21/2-hour hearing concluded, a sizable crowd of 50 Cent fans had gathered in front of the federal courthouse on Main Street. Jackson ducked out the back door and was driven away in a black Chevy Suburban.
A short time later, Jackson posted a photo, apparently taken inside the courthouse, that shows him with bundles of cash stuffed into the waistband of his jeans while he eats M&Ms.
“I went to court today and all I felt was love,” he wrote in a caption for the photo. “They asked me about money. I said I ain’t got none, but if you want some M&Ms here ya go.”