50 Cent Faces $4 Million Lawsuit and Allegations of Illegal Wiretapping After Liquor Partnership Goes Sour

50 cent faces lawsuit over Sire Spirits deal
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50 cent faces lawsuit over Sire Spirits deal
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Photo Credit: Top Streetwear / CC by 2.0

50 Cent faces a $4 million lawsuit from a former consultant with claims of illegal wiretapping after the rapper allegedly cut him out of a deal with his Sire Spirits.

Rapper and Sire Spirits liquor mogul 50 Cent is facing a $4 million lawsuit from a former consultant, Michael Caruso, who claims he was cut out of a deal with the company without proper compensation. Caruso’s filing asserts that he played a “critical role” in launching Sire Spirits’ premium brand in 2015, but 50 Cent never fulfilled a promise of offering him an ownership stake in the company.

Previously, 50 had accused Caruso, who once managed Wu-Tang Clan’s Cappadonna, of “snitching” on nightclub magnate Peter Gatien in the 1990s, according to a post on Instagram.

In the lawsuit, Caruso’s attorney, Paul J. Fishman, says his client “dedicated his time, expertise, and resources to ensure the success of Sire Spirits.” He also alleges that 50 illegally recorded a phone call with Caruso, “a clear violation of privacy and an attempt to gain an unfair advantage in legal proceedings,” he said. “Mr. Caruso’s rights were maliciously disregarded, and he suffered damages as a result.”

Meanwhile, 50 Cent has been battling Sire Spirits’ parent company, Beam Suntory, since accusing them on social media of fraud earlier this year. “[Beam Suntory] is gonna pay for what they did, trust me,” wrote 50 Cent in March. “These big companies think they can get away with anything. It has cost me millions in legal fees. They are gonna find out I’m not the one you want to play with.”

The next day, he called Caruso out by accusing him of snitching in an unrelated case decades earlier. “This fool been snitching since 1942 Don Julio! You know he gonna tell on everybody,” the rapper wrote in the caption. “They was paying this guy Michael Caruso a half a million a year and him and his partner Julious Grant put this together,” he added. “This is gonna make a great TV show.”

In his post on Instagram, 50 included a clip from a documentary about the now infamous Limelight nightclub in New York City, owned by Peter Gatien, who was suspected of being a drug kingpin. Caruso was reported to have been an FBI informant in the case, betraying Gatien as both a friend and employee. Caruso has denied the “snitching” allegations, though MTV confirmed in 2000 that he had been an FBI informant.