Curtis James Jackson III, who is popularly known by his celebrity stage name 50 Cent, is having a grim year. Barely two months ago, the rapper/actor filed for bankruptcy, and four days later, the court sanctioned an order permitting a creditor to go ahead with a trial in its punitive damages phase—the case is in relation to the alleged unauthorized release of a private video.
And now, a man named Larry Johnson has come forth claiming that the idea of Jackson’s show, Power, was originally his. This new plaintiff reports that he wrote Tribulation of a Ghetto Kid, a manuscript shown to publisher Nikki Turner, who is an employee at Jackson’s imprint, G-Unit Books.
Johnson insists that he presented his book to Turner in 2005, before he had it published and printed by another company. Johnson says that he is sure Turner showed the manuscript to 50 Cent, who then stole the idea for his own show.
Johnson maintains that when Power debuted in 2014, he was shell-shocked. Besides the script of the show being a carbon copy of his writing, its central character, “Ghost,” sports a goatee, not unlike the one in his book. He goes so far as to claim that he uses “Ghost” as his own pen name.
Adding to the similarities in his book, Johnson also remarked that the protagonist has a short-tempered best friend (just like the character Tommy in the show) and the main character in his book is the owner of one of the most happening nightclubs in Atlanta—the character in the show owns a club in NYC.
The price Johnson has put on his lawsuit is $200 million.
“50 Cent Sued: I’ll Show You Who Has the Power,” TMZ web site, September 9, 2015.