American rapper 50 Cent has lost a lawsuit against a headphones company who have successfully sued him for $16.1 million (NZ$18.6m).
The Candy Shop rapper, real name Curtis Jackson, has been ordered by a judge to pay the sum to Sleek headphones after a planned deal to market his own range with the company fell through.
According to RadarOnline.com, the star invested more than $1 million to start his line, before deciding the create another set of headphones with a different company.
Court documents reportedly show Sleek were "stunned" when they found the 'Sync by 50' headphones were "basically the same design, mechanically" as the pair they had developed.
Sleek also claimed the rapper and his assistants stole confidential information from a website they developed to promote the headphones before they were produced.
The site featured 3639 potential customers' email addresses and other data, which "disappeared" after 50's team was given the password.
The court heard it was "very valuable information", but when Sleek emailed the rapper's team to discuss the issue, his business manager Nicole Martin wrote, "[Sleek] is onto us, LOL. They emailed and called ... about the data. (sic)"
Another member of 50's team also sent an email to a colleague, saying: "Tell him something like, sorry, you just have to finish editing a video for 50 or something, we'll get to it, LOL (sic)"
Court documents show Sleek sued the rapper for breaching his fiduciary duty, participating in a civil conspiracy, misappropriating trade secrets, breaching his confidentiality agreement and being unjustly enriched.
The rapper instead claimed Sleek "fraudulently induced" him into entering into an investment and breaching their fiduciary duties to him.
- Bang! Showbiz