Taco Bell Countersues 50 Cent, Attacks Rapper's Character

Taco Bell has reportedly countersued 50 Cent in response to a $4 million dollar lawsuit that the rapper filed against the fast food chain in July. In June, Taco Bell released a letter to the press asking 50 Cent to endorse its 'Why Pay More Value Menu' by changing his name to "79 Cent," "89 Cent" or "99 Cent". In return, the fast food chain said it would give $10,000 to 50 Cent's favorite charity.

50 would respond to the letter with a copyright infringement lawsuit claiming that the company used his name in their  advertising campaign without his consent and fooled consumers into thinking that he agreed to endorse the fast food chain.

50 claimed Taco Bell intentionally used his name to attract attention and publicity to its campaign without compensating him.  He also claimed that the campaign harmed his image because fans thought he had 'sold out'  by endorsing Taco Bell.

According to The New York Daily News , Taco Bell responded in their countersuit saying that they were protected by the First Amendment and attacked the rapper's character calling  him a "former drug dealer and hustler whose gangsta rap is associated with violent criminals."

"[50 Ce nt] 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," said Taco Bell's  lawyer Robert Lehrburger in the suit. "At the same time, [50] holds himself out as a giver to charity and one who wants to give back to his community. This lawsuit is another of 50'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."

Peter Raymond, 50 Cent's lawyer, responded to Taco Bell's countersuit saying, "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."