Taco Bell calls out 50 Cent over promo lawsuit
Taco Bell called 50 Cent a "self-described former drug dealer and hustler" trying to bolster his tough-guy image in court filings responding to a July suit the rapper brought against the fast-food chain for using his name to try to sell tacos, the New York Daily News reports.
"(Curtis) Jackson has used his colorful past to cultivate a public image of belligerence and arrogance and has a well-publicized track record of making threats, starting feuds and filing lawsuits," Taco Bell lawyer Robert Lehrburger wrote to a federal judge. "At the same time, Jackson holds himself out as a giver to charity and one who wants to give back to his community. 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."
That good faith offer was sending an open letter asking Fiddy to change his name to 79 Cent, 89 Cent of 99 Cent for one day. If he showed up at a drive-thru and rapped his order, Taco Bell president Greg Creed promised to donate $10,000 to the rapper's favorite charity.
That didn't sit well with Mr. Cent, who filed the $4 million suit over copyright infringement for using his name in the promotion, in which he didn't take part (or even respond to). Taco Bell's lawyers said they were within their First Amendment rights.
"It makes me wonder why they would decide to use his name in their ad campaign if they think he's such a bad character," Fiddy's attorney, Peter Raymond, said. Well, they probably didn't think he was so bad until he sued them for seven figures.
[Photo: Getty Images]