He appeared on “Conan” Wednesday night to promote his new film “Southpaw,” in which he acts alongside Jake Gyllenhaal. But the big news, of course, was that 50 filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, three days after a New York jury decided he should pay $5 million in damages to Lastonia Leviston after narrating a sex tape of her and posting it on his Web site.
50 was supposed to make information available so the court could also deliberate punitive damages, but instead, he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, setting off a wave of questions about just what the “In Da Club” rapper did with all that Vitaminwater money. When O’Brien asked about his bankruptcy application and showed an Instagram photo of 50 standing in front of a Smart car, 50 responded with a smirk.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I need protection,” 50 said sarcastically as the audience laughed.
Then he became a little more serious: “I get a bullseye painted on [my] back. When you’re successful and publicly noted, you become the ideal person for people to have lawsuits for.”
The day before, 50 was greeted warmly as a guest on the CBS daytime show “The Talk.”
This time, co-host Sharon Osbourne lobbed a softball: “Now, my darling friend, there’s been a lot of news about you the last couple of days and all your fans and all of us here want to know that you’re okay,” she said.
“I’m fine. I’ve just been going through a little legal issues,” 50 said. “I got some trained professionals to help me with it. It’ll get past it.”
The group of co-hosts then moved on to talking about more important issues — you know, like “Southpaw.”
Update 2:49 p.m.: “I think we’re very clear in our papers that he’s engaged in numerous tactics to delay the eventual entry of a judgment in the state court litigation,” Leviston’s attorney, Elizabeth Austin, told The Post. “We believe this bankruptcy is yet another one of those tactics, and quite frankly, I’ve not seen all of the comments that have been made in the media. I’ve only seen some of them, but I think that would seem to support our position.”