50 Cent: Company overbilled for mansion repair|

June 2, 2009 5:29:07 PM PDT
Rapper 50 Cent said Tuesday that he never would have bought a Connecticut mansion once owned by boxer Mike Tyson had he realized it would require millions in repairs and renovations.

The rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, testified in Hartford Superior Court as part of his lawsuit against BVH Integrated Services, a Bloomfield-based engineering firm.

50 Cent testified he hired the firm to inspect the 52-room, 48,000-plus-square-foot Farmington mansion in 2003 when he was buying it from Tyson's ex-wife. The company was to make a visual inspection to determine how much it would cost to repair the roof, decks, driveway and other aspects of the property.

"I thought it was necessary because I didn't know what damages or what it would take to keep the house uptight and up to speed," the rapper testified. He said the mansion was the first house he purchased.

The company's estimate was for about $500,000, but 50 Cent spent about $6 million on repairs and renovations. He said about $3 million of that was excessive.

50 Cent sued in 2006 and the case is being heard by a judge.

BVH attorney Michael Byrne said 50 Cent wanted "extravagant and costly upgrades."

50 Cent put the mansion up for sale in 2007 for $18.5 million and allowed the MTV show "Cribs" to film an episode to show off the details of the 19-bedroom property, which includes a recording studio and a nightclub that features a swing dangling from the ceiling. Realtors at the time said he also added a helicopter pad, an infinity pool and spa with a grotto, new decks, windows and roofing, an entirely new main kitchen, a movie theater, updated the master bedroom and updated all electrical systems.

There were no buyers and 50 Cent said Tuesday the house is no longer for sale.

Dressed in a pinstriped black suit and without a tie, the rapper declined to comment when the court recessed early Tuesday afternoon, but signed autographs for some fans who attended the hearing. Testimony is scheduled to resume Tuesday afternoon.

In 2008, the rapper's $1.4 million mansion Long Island mansion burned in a swift-moving fire that forced six people, including 50 Cent's ex-girlfriend and their 10-year-old son, to escape by jumping off a rear roof. A cause has not been determined, but officials call its origins suspicious.

Months before the fire, a judge ruled that the girlfriend, Shaniqua Tompkins, had to vacate the house. She was still living there at the time of the fire because the case was being appealed.

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