News: 50 Cent & Taco Bell Avoid Lawsuit Crunch, Settle $1 Mil Dispute

Monday, Nov 23, 2009 2:25PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

50 Cent and fast food chain Taco Bell have reportedly reached a financial settlement in their on-going legal dispute which stemmed from the company using the rapper's name in a 2008 promotion.

While specifics of the settlement remain confidential, both parties were reportedly satisfied by the agreement.

A Bloomberg release reports today that Taco Bell, a Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) company, has settled a lawsuit filed by rapper 50 Cent. The suit accuses Taco Bell of using a likeness of the rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, in commercials to promote their new value menu. Results of the settlement are confidential, "but both parties are satisfied," said Jackson's lawyer, Peter Raymond. Jackson had sought $1 million in damages. Yum! Brands wasn't named in the suit. The case was Jackson v. Taco Bell Corp., 08-cv-6545, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. (Street Insider)

In November 2008, Taco Bell responded to 50's claims with their own remarks.

Attorneys for the restaurant franchise are striking back against the rapper's suit by bringing up 50's highly publicized past and claiming he is simply using this to add to his street cred. "[He's a] self-described former drug dealer and hustler," Taco Bell wrote to New York City Federal Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald. "This lawsuit is another of Jackson's attempts to burnish his gangsta rapper persona by distorting beyond all recognition a bona fide, good faith offer that Taco Bell made to Jackson," Taco Bell lawyer Robert Lehrburger continued in a letter. (New York Daily News)

The initial lawsuit was announced around summer 2008.

The G-Unit leader filed the lawsuit claiming the fast food chain presented a fake letter asking 50 to change his name to "79 Cent," "89 Cent" or "99 Cent" for their Why Pay More Value Menu to the media before it reached the rapper. Damages to 50's reputation reportedly included his apperance of "selling out" due to consumers believing he may have, in fact, endorsed the campaign. (Press Release)

Aside from Taco Bell, 50 is currently taking popular rap website World Star Hip Hop to court.

"I gotta lawsuit against World Star for utilizing my likeness," he said in an interview. "A lot of people felt like that was my site because they saw my face on the cover of [the website] for a long time. I have lawyers on retainers and I have to pay them so much money anyway, so we'll go back and forth to court until [they] can't afford a subway sandwich. It's already too late for [them]." (Six Shot)

No further details have been announced as of now.

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