Bankruptcy judge orders 50 Cent to explain photos of rapper with stacks of cash

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Rapper 50 Cent will have to explain photos he posted to social media showing him flaunting stacks of cash despite an ongoing bankruptcy case, a judge ordered Thursday.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ann Nevins ordered 40-year-old Curtis James Jackson III, better known by his stage name 50 Cent, to explain several photos he posted to Instagram showing the rapper posing with cash, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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The photos included one with a refrigerator filled with stacks of $100 bills and one with the word “broke” spelled out in cash.

“I'm concerned about allegations of nondisclosure and a lack of transparency in the case,” the Journal quoted Nevins as saying.  “There's a purpose of having a bankruptcy process be transparent, and part of that purpose is to inspire confidence in the process.”

According to the newspaper, photos were flagged by Lastonia Levinston, the woman who won a $7 million settlement against Jackson as part of a dispute over a sex-tape the rapper obtained and posted online in 2009. Levinston and two other creditors have not gotten any money as Jackson's bankruptcy case continues.

In court records, Jackson's lawyers argued the Instagram photos were part of the rapper's public image.

“By including pictures from (Jackson’s) social media accounts (in court records) and implying that (he) is hiding assets… the (three creditors) intentionally ignore that (he) is in the entertainment and promotion business and must maintain his brand and image (or those of the products he is promoting),” his lawyers said in court records, according to the Journal.

Jackson filed for bankruptcy on July 13, just days after a jury ordered him to pay Levinson.

According to The Associated Press, the lawsuit was prompted by a 13-minute video posted online in 2009 with "a wig-wearing 50 Cent as a narrator dubbed Pimpin' Curly." The video featured Levinson and her boyfriend.

“The character made explicit remarks about (Lastonia) Levinson and taunted rap rival Rick Ross, who wasn't in the video but has a daughter with Leviston,” the wire service reported. “At the time the video surfaced, Ross and 50 Cent were trading barbs via video, lyrics and interviews.”