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50 Cent files for bankruptcy after losing lawsuit

50 Cent arrives at the Billboard Music Awards

50 Cent arrives at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 17, 2015. Credit: AP, Invision / Eric Jamison

Following a jury's finding that he owes $5 million to a woman whose sex tape he posted online without permission, rapper and businessman 50 Cent declared bankruptcy Monday.

The Wall Street Journal, citing documents from U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Hartford, Connecticut, said 50 Cent, born Curtis James Jackson III in Queens, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, reporting assets of between $10 million to $50 million and debts equaling that.

"I'm taking the precautions that any other good businessperson would take in this situation," the rapper told E! News exclusively Monday at an event for the upcoming movie "Southpaw," in which he has a role. "You know when you're successful and stuff, you become a target. I don't wanna be a bull's-eye. I don't want anybody to pick me as the guy that they just come to with astronomical claims and go through all that."

His attorney, William A. Brewer III, said in a statement Monday that his client's "business interests will continue unaffected in the ordinary course during the pendency of the Chapter 11 case. This filing for personal bankruptcy protection permits Mr. Jackson to continue his involvement with various business interests and continue his work as an entertainer."

In May, the "Get Rich or Die Tryin' " rapper, who turned 40 on July 6, ranked No. 4 on Forbes magazine's list of the five wealthiest hip-hop artists, with an estimated $155 million net worth. His fortune is based primarily not on music but on such outside business ventures as SMS headphones, Effen vodka and Frigo underwear.

As well, credited as Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, he is an executive producer of the Starz drama series "Power," and appears in a recurring role.

The rapper earned a reported $100 million in 2007 as a company investor in the sale of Vitamin Water parent Glacéau to Coca-Cola.

On Friday, Manhattan jurors in Lastonia Leviston's invasion-of-privacy lawsuit concluded that 50 Cent was at fault for a 13-minute sex video posted online in 2009, showing the plaintiff -- with whom his hip-hop rival Rick Ross has a daughter -- and Leviston's boyfriend, from whom he said he acquired it. The video was edited to include 50 Cent himself, wearing a wig as a trash-talking narrator named Pimpin' Curly.

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