50 Cent claims he was ''protecting'' himself by filing for bankruptcy.

The 'Candy Shop' rapper appeared on TBS show 'Conan' yesterday (15.07.15) to promote his new movie 'Southpaw' and said the reason he filed the papers - which came days after he was ordered to pay $5 million to a woman who sued him in a sex tape case - was because he felt like a ''target''.

He said: ''Yeah, I need protection. You get a bullseye painted on your back when you're successful, and it's public, you become the ideal person for lawsuits.''

The star was criticised for posting an Instagram photo with the caption ''Times are hard out here LMAO (sic)'' on Tuesday (13.07.15) after claiming he had debts of between $10m to $50m, but has since defended the snap.

He added: ''Times are hard out here, for real. That picture was actually taken by Jake Gyllenhaal. Total empty parking lot, so he took the picture.''

Meanwhile, the rapper - real name Curtis James Jackson III - recently opened up about the first home he ever bought after he shot to fame.

Speaking to Nick Grimshaw for MTV Music's 'Relentless Ultra Presents Soundchain', he shared: ''The first house I bought was previously Mike Tyson's home, 50,000 square feet ... It's got 37 bathrooms, a nightclub, three full kitchens, three half kitchens, indoor racket ball, sauna... ''

50 Cent will appear on 'Relentless Ultra Presents Soundchain' this Friday (17.07.15) at 11pm on MTV MUSIC.