50 Cent Says He 'Never Owned' Bitcoin in New Court Filing
The American rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, stated in a bankruptcy court filing obtained by The Blast that he "has never owned, and does not now own, a bitcoin account or any bitcoin," and nor have his businesses. The filing was submitted on Feb. 23.
As previously reported by CoinDesk, Jackson accepted bitcoin as payment for his 2014 'Animal Ambition' album, and according to a January report from entertainment news site TMZ, garnered about 700 BTC, which was worth roughly $8 million when TMZ's story was published. At the time, Jackson appeared to confirm the news on Instagram, writing, "Not bad for a kid from the South Side, I'm so proud of me."
He said further in a comment thread that he had forgotten that he had the bitcoin. The post has since been removed from his account.
Jackson claims in the newly-filed court documents that a third-party company handled the bitcoin transactions and that they were immediately converted to U.S. dollars.
Based on print-outs from Jackson's BitPay account that were included in the filing, TechCrunch estimates the total bitcoin payments received for the album to be much lower than the figure initially reported by TMZ, suggesting Jackson reaped around 6 or 7 BTC, not 700 BTC.
The performance artist and entrepreneur claimed in the documents that he did not dispute TMZ's report because he stood to benefit from the publicity.
"As a general matter, so long as a press story is not irreparably damaging to my image or brand, I usually do not feel the need to publicly deny the reporting," Jackson wrote. "This is particularly true when I feel the press report in question is favorable to my image or brand, even if that report is based on a misunderstanding of the facts or contains outright falsehoods."
As for his previous comments on "forgetting" his bitcoin holdings, Jackson stated:
"I made social media posts stating that 'I forgot I did that' because I had in fact forgotten I was one of the first recording artists to accept bitcoin for online transactions."
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