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Posted: August 28, 2014

Rapper 50 Cent in Florida court regarding lawsuit

The rapper known as 50 Cent sits in Palm Beach County court Thursday morning, August 28, 2014. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)
The rapper known as 50 Cent sits in Palm Beach County court Thursday morning, August 28, 2014. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

By Daphne Duret

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. —

Curtis Jackson III, the rapper known as 50 Cent, was at a Florida courthouse Thursday morning.

The rapper and his attorneys entered the Palm Beach County courthouse around 9 a.m. to attend a hearing regarding a lawsuit with an audio company, which was settled in arbitration.

Jackson, dressed casually in a dark button-down shirt, black slacks and gold-tipped suede sneakers, smiled at onlookers and even posed for pictures while he was waiting for his hearing to begin.

Jackson was ordered to pay $16 million to headphone company Sleek Audio in April. A court ruled that he had stolen designs from the company and marketed very similar designs as his own in a separate venture, according to MTV.

U.S. District Court records also show that Jackson filed a complaint against Sleek Audio in federal court in Sept. 2013 regarding a purportedly vague arbitration hearing, claiming that an arbitrator was biased against him due to his race, status as a high-profile rapper and association with members of the Nation of Islam and other controversial figures.

Jackson is being represented by West Palm Beach attorney John Mariani of Shutts & Bowen, LLP, according to court records.

After an early life of crime, drugs and violence, Jackson turned to a career as a rapper, according to Biography.com. He was promoted by hip-hop legends Dr. Dre and Eminem, and he became a star with his debut release, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, in 2003. That album is listed as the 10th-best selling rap album of all time with 8.1 million copies sold, according to complex.com. He is considered one of the major figures in early 21st century “gangsta” rap.”

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