50 Cent Ordered to Pay Sleek Audio $16.1M in Headphone CaseBy: Meaghan Ellis - April 9, 2014
50 Cent’s pockets just took a major hit.
According to the Bradenton Herald, federal court documents state that the rapper, actor and entrepreneur has been ordered to pay a whopping $16.1 million to the Bradenton, FL earphone manufacturer, Sleek Audio. The judgment is reportedly associated with an aborted partnership put in place to mass produce the rapper’s line of headphones.
Records indicate that 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson III, reportedly stole the conceptual designs for the over-the-ear headphones. More specifically, the G-Unit rapper is accused of “misappropriating trade secrets, breaching his fiduciary duty owed to Sleek, participating in a civil conspiracy, breaching his confidentiality agreement with Sleek, and being unjustly enriched.”
The reports specified that the “Ayo Technology” rapper retrieved private, confidential information from the company’s website. Some of the information even included personal email addresses for more than 4,000 potential customers. A correspondence in reference to the missing data was also used as a means of suggesting the action to be intentional.
The correspondence was documentation of an excuse given to the company by 50 Cent’s assistant, denying any knowledge of the missing data. “[Sleek] is onto us, LOL. They emailed and called … about the data. Tell him something like, sorry, you just have to finish editing a video for 50 or something, we’ll get to it, LOL,” the assistant reportedly said.
Then, to make matters worse, 50 Cent’s latest line of headphones even bare a striking resemblance to the conceptual designs in question. However, the 50-Over line is currently being distributed through another manufacturer.
The publication also reported a detailed breakdown of the Before I Self Destruct rapper’s incurred cost. The charges include $11,693,247 in damages and an additional $4,488,331, which totaled an estimated $16.1 million.
The U.S. District Court in Miami confirmed the award amount at the end of March, bringing the three-year legal battle to an end. Although 50 Cent filed a counter suit against Sleek in May of 2013, an arbitrator denied his claim, ultimately ruling in favor of the company.
Image via 50 Cent, Facebook