A jury awarded $235900 in punitive damages to Soulja Boy’s ex-girlfriend in a civil trial.
via: Radar Online
Soulja Boy was shut down in his attempt to have a 6-figure judgment thrown out due to him allegedly struggling financially — with a judge advising the rapper to cut his monthly expenses, RadarOnline.com has learned.
According to court documents obtained by RadarOnline.com, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge found Soulja’s argument unpersuasive.
As we first reported, earlier this year, a jury found Soulja [real name: Deandre Way] liable for an alleged assault against his ex-girlfriend Kayla Myers.
Myers sued the rapper claiming he bashed her head with a gun at a 2019 house party. She was awarded a total of $472k.
The breakdown was $236k in damages and another $236k in punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant for bad conduct.
He testified that he made millions off of his 2007 hit Crank That but that has “spent a lot of money” over the years.
Soulja admitted he rents a home in Los Angeles for $25k per month. He doesn’t own any real property but has a car collection. The vehicles were worth around $600k when he purchased them. He testified he had another $18k in jewelry.
The entertainer said he pulls in $10k to $50k per show but has to pay a good amount to his team. Soulja said the pandemic hurt his bank account and all of his 2023 shows have been canceled.
In addition, he claimed to have a $1 million tax debt he’s working on handling. He argued he didn’t have the funds to cover the punitive damages award.
Myers objected to the position and suggested he sell off his assets to satisfy the debt.
A hearing was held on the matter this week. The judge came back and sided with Myers despite agreeing that “at least based on the evidence” Soulja’s “net worth is negative.”
However, he noted that Soulja has the ability to make 5-figures per show. “And while it is not clear that defendant could just snap his fingers and book as many shows as he would like, neither is it clear that he cannot work at all. It might not be the work he wants (and he might not be headlining), but the court has no reason to believe that he cannot perform at all,” the judge ruled.
The judge said Soulja’s $25k per month was a key factor in denying the motion to throw out the punitive damages.
He advised, “Someone as close to zero (financially) as defendant claims to be might want to scale down the living arrangements. $25,000 is a lot of monthly rent—even in Los Angeles. There is no reason of which the court is aware that he could not relocate to a more “modest” $10,000/month home.”
The judge added, “defendant must be earning money from somewhere sufficient to pay for the rent and whatever other monthly expenses he has. In other words, defendant is paying $300,000/year in rent alone. It stands to reason that he must have some other living expenses. And that money must come from somewhere. It is not coming from loans, for defendant did not testify as to any other debts. So, although the court does not know from whence the money is coming, it is coming from somewhere. It is not an impossible inference to conclude that his overall financial condition must be sufficient to allow him to live the life style he does without going into debt.”
He argued the punitive damages was not a multi-million-dollar judgment. The judge said the punitive damages will stay.