Rappers just can’t seem to keep out of trouble. Curtis James Jackson III, known to millions of fans around the world as 50 Cent, had his day in court on Monday. The rapper, whose 2003 album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ went triple platinum, pleaded not guilty to charges of domestic violence and four counts of vandalism.
Jackson is accused of beating and kicking Daphne Narvarez during an argument at her luxury apartment in California on June 23. Media reports put the value of the damages caused to property at over R 70 000. Narvarez tried to barricade herself in her bedroom but Jackson is alleged to have kicked the door until it flew open. Once in the bedroom, he continued to terrorise Narvarez. When the police arrived at the scene, Jackson had left a trail of injury and destruction behind him.
The pair was in a relationship which lasted three years. They have a child together. The charges against Jackson are serious and if he is found guilty, he will most likely be sentenced to as many as five years in prison plus almost R 500 000 in fines.
Scott Leemon is the defense attorney. He told reporters outside the court that his client denies all allegations of violence made against him.
The 38 year-old rapper, businessman and actor became a household name after he spoke about his life as a drug dealer in the album Get Rich or Die Tryin’. He was twelve years old when he started selling ‘crack’. When he was 25 years old, he miraculously survived a vicious, nine-bullet attack on his life. His rise to stardom was cemented when he signed up with Interscope Records where Eminem and Dr. Dre helped to turn him into an international, commercial success. Soon after that, Jackson started his own recording company called G-Unit Records which boasted acts such as Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo.
The pre-trial hearing in this case is scheduled to take place on September 4. The court has issued strict orders to Jackson; he must not contact Daphne Narvarez in person, by phone or via email. He cannot possess any weapons during this legal process.