Rap superstar 50 Cent is to sue his ex-girlfriend for defamation after she accused him of causing the fire that burned down her New York home.
The In Da Club hitmaker - real name Curtis Jackson - has been locked in a bitter court battle with Shaniqua Tompkins, the mother of his 11-year-old son Marquise, for months, after he tried to evict them from the Long Island mansion he owns.
The property went up in flames last month (May08) in what police have called a "highly suspicious" inferno. Tompkins later alleged the rapper had started the fire himself in a bid to force her and their son out of the house.
Shortly after the blaze, she told the press: "He tried to kill me and his own child. I know this came from 50 Cent."
But 50 Cent has slammed the claims, and his lawyers are now preparing a defamation complaint against Tompkins, reports the New York Daily News.
His attorney Brett Kimmel says, "There comes a point where you can no longer sit on your hands and listen to her spread these falsehoods. Besides hurting his reputation, they have a damaging impact on their son."
The star also claims Tompkins has refused him access to Marquise since the fire - while calling 50 a bad father for failing to get in touch with the boy.
In a petition filed in Suffolk County Family court, 50 alleges Tompkins has "made it practically impossible" for him to contact his son, by not notifying him of where they were staying.
And, when 50 learned Marquise's cell phone had been destroyed in the accident, he sent a new one for his son, along with a bag of new clothes.
However, he claims Tompkins has "failed and refused to give the cell phone to Marquise. The only way (50) can communicate with his son is to call (Tompkins') cell phone."
The legal papers state Tompkins' behaviour is a "willful violation" of their custody agreement and the rapper is requesting a judge allow him access to his son.
50's attorney is due to argue the case in court on Friday (20Jun08). The star will not be in attendance for the court hearing as he is currently on location in Louisiana for new movie Microwave Park.