50 Cent has been sued for promoting violence and crime by a teenage boy who claims to have been assaulted by friends of the rapper.

James Rosemond, 14, and his mother Cynthia Reed filed a lawsuit on Wednesday alleging that the Universal Music Group and its labels G-Unit Records, Shady Records and Interscope Records, are liable for the assault for encouraging attacks of this ilk.

Rosemond claims to have been assaulted in March 2007 by four men including Tony Yayo, a member of 50 Cent's G-Unit group, and one of Yayo's employees Lowell Fletcher.

The teenager says the assault occurred because he was wearing a t-shirt showing the logo of Czar Entertainment, the management firm that represents rapper The Game, a former G-Unit member and now a rival of the hip-hop collective.

"The members of G-Unit, including defendants Yayo and 50 Cent, encouraged, sanctioned, approved and condoned its members threatening violence, and or engaging in violent acts in furtherance of its business," the lawsuit said, according to the Reuters news agency.

The claimants say the attack was intended to "promote and maintain Yayo and 50 Cent's 'gangsta' image", which was "promoted, marketed and advertised" by the record labels involved.

Yayo and Fletcher pleaded guilty to charges relating to the original attack, with Yayo sentenced to ten days of community service for harassment.

Fletcher was sentenced to nine months in jail for the endangerment of a child.

11/04/2008 12:54:11