Judge Decides Against Eminem's Mother In Defamation Suit

By | June 28, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Eminem’s mother may be indecisive regarding her defamation lawsuits against her son, but a Michigan judge didn’t have that problem last week.

In a June 20 letter, according to lawyers for both parties, Macomb County Circuit Judge Mark Switalski denied a motion for reconsideration of a $25,000 settlement Debbie Mathers-Nelson accepted last month in the pair of lawsuits she filed in September 1999. She sought more than $10 million in punitive damages from her estranged son.

Mathers-Nelson said in February she planned to drop the lawsuits, then accepted the settlement in May. She later said she was pressured to settle the case for the lesser amount, but a transcript of a May 9 voice-mail message she left for Eminem’s attorney – stating she would settle for $25,000 – convinced the judge that she clearly accepted the terms of the settlement.

Michael Marsalese, Mathers-Nelson’s attorney, said his client is considering taking the case to the state Court of Appeals. Mathers-Nelson never signed a settlement agreement, he said, blaming a communication breakdown between his client and her former attorney for the settlement’s acceptance.

Eminem has yet to sign an agreement not to further defame his mother, Marsalese added, and Mathers-Nelson is considering suing again for comments Eminem makes on Devils Night, the new album by his group, D12. Marsalese has not heard the album and did not know what lyrics Mathers-Nelson found slanderous.

On “Revelation,” Eminem raps that “I been raised and labeled as crazed/ My mother wasn’t able to raise me/ Full of crazy rage.”

Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, first rapped about Mathers-Nelson in his debut single, “My Name Is,” claiming, “My mom smokes more dope than I do.” She sued shortly after the song became a hit, claiming she was slandered on her son’s album and in interviews he did with Rolling Stone, The Source and Rap Pages magazines and on Howard Stern’s nationally syndicated radio show (see “Eminem Sued By His Mother For $10 Million”).

“She needs to realize that it is not defamation when everything is the truth,” Eminem’s lawyer, Peter Peacock, said Wednesday (June 27). “I don’t know. Maybe she just forgot how she raised him.”

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