Taco Bell Crime of the Week!
Rapper 50 Cent will cost you more than a taco.
The rapper, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, yesterday settled the lawsuit he filed against Yum! Brands' Taco Bell, claiming the fast-food chain used his name to promote its tacos and burritos without his permission.
The terms of the deal were confidential, but he was asking for $4 million in damages.
Jackson's suit, which was filed in federal court in Manhattan last year, argued that Taco Bell used Jackson's name and trademark without his authorization to promote its low-cost menu items.
As part of a national campaign, Taco Bell cheekily asked that the rapper change his name to "79 Cent," "89 Cent" or "99 Cent" to promote its menu items that cost less than a dollar.
Looking for free publicity, Taco Bell sent a joke letter addressed to Jackson to news outlets around the country, but didn't send it to him at first, the suit said. Taco Bell didn't get around to clueing Jackson in until after the story had already been picked up by the press, leading some consumers to believe that Jackson was "selling out" as a paid endorser.