Eminem is due in Michigan’s Macomb County Circuit Court on Friday, May 30 to defend himself against a $1 million defamation lawsuit filed by his elementary school nemesis, DeAngelo Bailey. In the lawsuit, filed in December 2001, Bailey maintains that Eminem defamed him in “Brain Damage,” a song from Eminem’s The Slim Shady LP, and thus damaged his career as an aspiring rapper. In the song Eminem depicts Bailey as a junior high school bully.
Meanwhile, Eminem may be able to use a lawsuit filed against the local school board in 1982 by his mother, Debbie Mathers-Briggs, to vindicate himself. Mathers-Briggs’s lawsuit alleged that Bailey “assaulted and battered” Eminem when the two were attending Dort Elementary School. The lawsuit also asserted that as a result of the beatings, Eminem suffered sleeplessness, vomiting, nightmares, and anti-social behavior. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed on the grounds of governmental immunity.
Mathers-Briggs and Eminem have been estranged for several years, but the star’s mother has always maintained that she’s been getting a bum rap. “Basically, I’ve been portrayed as a really evil, bad person out there-as far as with my son and his lyrics and different magazines, newspaper articles-and I’m not a bad person,” she revealed. “A lot of people have taken everything that my son says very personal, and I was never given a chance. And the people who don’t know me, they were prejudging me.”
In “Brain Damage,” Eminem raps, “I was harassed daily by this fat kid named DeAngelo Bailey/An eighth grader who acted obnoxious, ’cause his father boxes/So every day he’d shove me into the lockers/And he had me in the position to beat me into submission/He banged my head against the urinal until he broke my nose/Soaked my clothes in blood, grabbed me, and choked my throat.”