Rapper 50 Cent appears in Manhattan courtroom in sex tape trial
The rapper, who filed for personal bankruptcy in Connecticut court last week, showed up in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday morning to testify about his estimated $150 million fortune — and offered a cheap apology to the woman whose sex tape he posted online.
“I’m sorry if you feel like I hurt you,” he told Lastonia Leviston shortly after taking the witness stand in her multimillion-dollar lawsuit against him.
The “Power” star — whose real name is Curtis Jackson — has been subpoenaed to testify as the jury that already ordered him to pay Leviston $5 million weighs punitive damages against him.
Fitty’s lawyer, James Renard, told jurors his client’s net worth was $4.4 million — and that was before Leviston’s $5 million award.
Leviston’s lawyer, Philip Freidin, said he was worth many, many millions more — noting his successful music and acting careers, numerous endorsement deals, a popular website, his own record company, a Connecticut mansion, and fleets of luxury cars on both coasts.
But Jackson, 40, portrayed his wealth as a mirage.
“I take the jewelry and cars back to the stores” after posing for pictures with them, he told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten.
Asked about his 38 million in record sales, he said, “I make ten cents a record.” When asked about the two movies he’s currently in, “Spy” and “Southpaw,” Fitty responded that he made $100,000 for each.
When questioned about his hit TV show “Power,” which he also executive produces, he said he’s made about $150,000 from each of its first two seasons.
He did admit to buying a Rolls Royce on July 4 — but said he traded in two other cars to buy it. “I took two others back,” he said.
He said he “hopes” that he’ll continue to be successful, but said he was worried his “brand” had taken a hit since he filed for bankruptcy last week.
“Now that I filed for bankruptcy, I’m not as cool as I was last week,” he said.
But Fitty also acknowledged that he’s continued to live the high life since the filing. Asked about a report that he was throwing wads of bills around at a Florida strip club, he said, “Yes.”
Leviston said the sex tape was a personal item she made for and with her boyfriend, Maurice Murray. Murray handed it over to Fitty, who’s said he posted it to embarrass rival rapper Rick Ross, who has a daughter with Leviston.
Asked Tuesday if he’d continue “humiliating” people online, Jackson said the digs at his rival were merely competition.
“That’s just the competitive nature of the art form,” he said.
The civil court jury awarded Leviston $5 million in damages earlier this month, and were set to weigh punitive damages when the “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” star filed for bankruptcy and sought to freeze the proceedings.
A Connecticut bankruptcy judge lifted the freeze last week.
Jackson’s filing said he’s $28 million in debt — including $1,737.33 he owes his grandfather — but he admitted in interviews that the filing was aimed at getting out of paying money to Leviston.
“You know when you’re successful and stuff, you become a target,” he said in one interview. He told Freidin he’d made light of the filing because, “You got to smile in public situations.”
He’d previously portrayed the single mom as preying on him, even though he humiliated her by posting the sex tape online, complete with running — and crude — commentary about Leviston’s body. The cracks, including calling Leviston a “bi*ch” and “ho,” were delivered by Fitty’s online alter ego Pimpin’ Curly.
“You a motherf—in’ porn star now,” he says at the end of the tape.
Leviston, 33, testified she was devastated by the posting, which racked up 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.
Leviston declined to comment on the apology.
Jackson said on the stand, “This is the first time I ever saw her.”