Many Maryland fans of rapper 50 Cent were surprised to learn that the highly successful musician has filed for bankruptcy protection. The move came at the same time that a jury was set to discuss punitive measures in an unrelated legal matter. While 50 Cent, whose legal name is Curtis Jackson III, has achieved a great deal of success in recent years, many feel that the bankruptcy filing was made in order to halt a sizable payout based on the civil case. In a recent hearing, a bankruptcy judge ruled that the civil case can move forward despite the reorganization process that will accompany the Chapter 11 filing.

In filing for bankruptcy, 50 Cent’s outstanding debt was listed at nearly $28.5 million. Those obligations include utility bills, personal loans from family members and a number of household services companies. His assets were valued at $24.5 million.

The civil case against him centered on a video that the rapper posted online. In that recording, a woman was shown engaging in sex acts. The footage was released publicly without her permission, and the civil trial was decided in her favor. In the recent hearing in bankruptcy court, the judge rebuked 50 Cent for the personal bankruptcy filing as well as the business bankruptcy filing of a company that he owns.

As this case moves forward, it is possible that the woman who won a civil lawsuit against 50 Cent will be unable to collect a significant award. As of yet, the amount of that award has not been determined. Within the bankruptcy process, a full accounting of the rapper’s financial standing will be completed, and creditors will be repaid based on the assets that are available. Even though many feel that his success does not merit a bankruptcy, many successful people in Maryland and across the nation choose similar reorganization options.

Source: Hartford Courant, “Federal Judge Says 50 Cent Sex-Tape Case Can Proceed Despite Bankruptcy”, David Owens, July 17, 2015