50 Cent lost his sex tape battle and has been ordered to pay $5 million.
The 40-year-old P.I.M.P. rapper has been engaged in a legal war with Lavonia Leviston over the lewd footage, a woman who shares a child with fellow emcee Rick Ross.
But according to the New York Daily News, he has been ordered by a judge to shell out $5 million in damages to Leviston. Jurors in the civil suit against the Animal Ambition hitmaker deliberated for just over an hour before returning their verdict.
The outlet reports Leviston broke down in tears after hearing the jury decided in her favour, with eyewitnesses claiming she clutched the hand of her lawyer while sobbing. Her $5 million in damages are broken down as $2.5 million for violation of civil rights and using her image without her permission in addition to another $2.5 million for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
And $5 million might not be the only thing 50 Cent is ordered to pay, as the jury will weigh punitive damages next week, which means he may need to shell out several more millions.
A feud ensued when Rick, the father of Leviston baby, accused 50 Cent of looking at him the wrong way at the 2009 BET Awards. And in response to the ongoing exchange between the men, 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, uploaded a sex tape to YouTube which featured Lavonia fornicating with her ex-boyfriend Maurice Murray.
50 Cent doctored the sex tape by superimposing his own character ‘Pimpin' Curly’ into the clip and he went on an expletive filled rant in his altered version. He also added two of his own songs to the fornication footage, which racked up millions of views.
50 Cent’s lawyers tried to argue he obtained the original sex tape featuring Leviston from Murray. The rapper’s defence was Murray told him Levison with “cool with it” when asked whether it was OK to publish the sex tape online.
Leviston argued he never received permission from her and that the tape’s release was so emotionally crippling, she even contemplated suicide.