New York judge bars 50 Cent from selling property

Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:39pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York judge on Tuesday ordered U.S. rapper 50 Cent not to sell the property where a fire destroyed his $2.4 million home and where his ex-girlfriend lived with their son.

State Supreme Court Justice Carol Edmead also ordered the woman, Shaniqua Tompkins, to pay the rapper $4,500 in rent by Friday for staying in the house during its final month, lawyers for both sides said.

Tompkins sued 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, for half of his estate based on an oral agreement the two made early in their decade-long relationship, said Tompkins' lawyer, Paul Catsandonis.

Tompkins was living in the Long Island home with their 10-year-old son until a fire broke out in the early hours of May 30. Police said they were investigating the fire as suspicious.

Tompkins escaped through a window and six people, including children, were treated for smoke inhalation, Catsandonis said.

"I think it speaks volumes about Mr. Jackson" that he would compel Tompkins to pay the rent, Catsandonis said, calling it an "undue hardship."

But 50 Cent's lawyer, Brett Kimmel, said Tompkins has repeatedly ignored court orders to pay the rapper, and that paying rent was a condition of her continuing to live in the house.

"My client is not the one who started a lawsuit for $50 million," Kimmel said.

The two are due back in court on July 15.

Since his debut album in 2003, 50 Cent has built a business with a record label, a clothing and footwear line, ringtones and video games. He has also starred in a movie based on his life, "Get Rich or Die Tryin'."

(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Eric Beech)

<p>File photo shows Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson on stage during the General Motors presentation at the 2008 New York International auto show March 19, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>