A federal judge blasted rapper 50 Cent on Friday for making a “frivolous” attempt to move his civil sex tape trial to federal court for the second time this month.
Lawyers for Fifty, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, had filed a motion Friday morning to move the case to federal court, just an hour before the state jury was to hear opening statements in the three week trial.
Lastonia Leviston, 36, of Florida is suing Jackson, 39, of Connecticut for posting a film of her having sex with her boyfriend on Jackson’s website, imposing his own image over the other man, and branding her as a call girl. She said she was so distraught after 4 million people saw it that she almost committed suicide.
Jackson’s lawyers said the case belongs in federal court because the parties come from different states, the damages exceed $75,000 and the rapper is protected by federal law, the Communications Decency Act.
US District Court Judge Katherine Failla said Jackson’s latest effort to move his case “is a transparent delay tactic, an egregious abuse of the federal removal statute and an unmeritorious attempt to avoid standing trial. Such tactics cannot be countenanced.”
She ordered Jackson’s lawyers to explain why she shouldn’t slam him with fines.