50 Cent says he was done wrong by his ex-lawyers in the Lastonia Leviston sex-tape case — and now he’s suing for $32 million to make it right.
The “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” rapper — real name: Curtis Jackson III — filed his claim in U.S. bankruptcy court in Connecticut on Friday, alleging numerous misdeeds by law firm Reed Smith and attorney Peter Raymond, which put him at a disadvantage in Leviston’s lawsuit against him.
In 2015, Jackson was hit with a total of $7 million in damages for posting a sex tape of Leviston and her partner online, overdubbing the tape with his own commentary. Shortly thereafter, the rapper filed for bankruptcy.
Jackson’s claim contends that he wouldn’t have had to file for bankruptcy if not for the “neglectful, negligent and unethical conduct of Raymond and Reed Smith” in the Leviston lawsuit.
“Reed Smith and Raymond did not follow established legal standards in representing Jackson in the Leviston Case by failing to provide effective representation and conduct proper pre-trial and trial preparation prior to the Leviston trial,” the complaint reads. “In addition, their lack of effective representation and inadequate pre-trial preparation and preparation for trial caused Jackson to retain new counsel on the eve of trial.”
Jackson also alleges that Reed Smith “had an unwaivable conflict of interest regarding key material witnesses” that it failed to disclose, and failed to cooperate with his new counsel despite its promise to do so, which “which caused Jackson to be subject to an unfavorable jury verdict.”
“Unfortunately, this is not the first time Mr. Jackson has been required to commence litigation in connection with the past administration of his legal matters,” Arthur L. Aidala, Esq., of Baratta, Baratta & Aidala, LLP, Jackson’s legal representative, told TheWrap in a statement. “While it would have been preferable to resolve this dispute privately and amicably, he felt it necessary to pursue this matter further. Mr. Jackson is fully confident that all claims will be resolved in his favor in the near future. “
Alleging breach of fiduciary duty and malpractice, Jackson is seeking $7 million in actual damages and $25 million in punitive damages.
TheWrap has reached out to Reed Smith for comment.
Panela Chelin contributed to this report.