Rick Ross Responsible for Releasing Sex Tape, 50 Cent Claims (UPDATED)
photo by: Michele Eve Sandberg
Update, Thursday 10:00 a.m.: William A. Brewer III, 50 Cent's attorney, has responded to the statement Rick Ross' attorney gave New Times:
“Our client is pleased to see that Mr. Roberts, a/k/a Rick Ross, has obtained legal counsel and appears willing to accept service of this legal filing. Mr. Jackson believes the facts will clearly demonstrate that the person primarily responsible for the posting of the video in question is Mr. Roberts. We hope he will join us in bringing the facts of this case into full public view as quickly as possible, so Mr. Jackson may pursue all the remedies to which he is entitled.”
UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.: Xavier Donaldson, legal counsel for Rick Ross, has responded to New Times via a statement:
“The recent lawsuit filed by Curtis Jackson against Mr. William Roberts is clearly another attempt to draw attention to his descending entertainment career and one of several desperate, last minute attempts he's made to avoid and deflect legal and financial responsibility for his own actions related to the pending New York City civil trial in which he’s a defendant.
"The New York City lawsuit was filed against Curtis Jackson five years ago. Mr. Roberts was neither named as a defendant nor legally joined by Mr. Jackson in that suit. If and/or when Mr. Jackson properly serves Mr. Roberts, we will aggressively address and defend against these frivolous and futile claims.”
UPDATE, 10 a.m.: The New York Daily News reports that 50 Cent is now declaring bankruptcy so that he can dodge legal responsibility and have the defamation suit tossed. Leviston's lawyers have asked that she win the defamation case by default. A New York judge has deferred his decision.
Original story: Back in 2010, rapper 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, was accused of posting a sex video (link NSFW!) of Lastonia Leviston, the mother of Rick Ross' child, on YouTube, where it received 3.2 million views. The video showed Leviston having sex with then-boyfriend Maurice Murray. Spliced into it were snippets of 50 Cent wearing a wig to look like her — obviously to mock her and taunt his rival Ross.
Leviston took 50 Cent to court for defamation, filing the action in Manhattan Supreme Court, claiming that the embarrassment over the video being released left her distraught to the point where she thought about killing herself. Leviston claimed that Murray sold 50 Cent the video. Leviston said 50 Cent had admitted being the one posting the video in an interview he gave where he called her a "call girl."
But now, bizarrely, 50 Cent is saying that it was Ross — or a member of his camp — who is responsible for the release of the video.
50 Cent says that Ross' camp spliced the video and uploaded it to the internet. 50 Cent is asking a judge to hold Rick Ross liable.
“Our client believes the person primarily responsible for the posting of the video in question is [Rick Ross],” William A. Brewer III, partner at Bickel & Brewer and lead counsel for 50 Cent tells New Times. “Of course, Mr. Jackson denies that he is liable to the plaintiff but, to the extent necessary, will aggressively pursue the remedies to which he is entitled from [Rick Ross].”
According to 50 Cent's complaint, Rick Ross told a D.C. radio show in 2009 that he would post a video with 50 Cent in it. The next day, the video showed up on ThisIsSabrinasSin.ning.com, according to the complaint. Claiming he "does not own or control the website ThisIsSabrinasSin.ning.com in any way," 50 Cent said it was "Ross or someone under Ross' control was the first person to publish the video online." The complaint goes on to say that 50 Cent merely linked to the video that had already been uploaded.
"Jackson did not publish the video online," the complaint says, "but instead put an embedded link on boobootv.com to the video that was posted on ThisIsSabrinasSin.ning.com."
Leviston claims millions of people saw the video, which said included 50 Cent narrating while "dressed in a wig and robe." "50 Cent can be heard continuously speaking during the video and can be seen periodically," Leviston's complaint says. Leviston said 50 Cent blurred Murray's face but left her face clearly visible.
According to the complaint, 50 Cent argues that if he loses in his case with Leviston, Ross should cover the judgment because he is truly the guilty party.
The defamation trial is scheduled to begin in June.
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