Lawyers representing Eminem have asked a Michigan judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that the Grammy- and Oscar-winning rapper slandered a former schoolmate in one of his songs, according to published reports.
On Monday, Macomb County Circuit Judge Deborah Servitto said she would review arguments submitted by Eminem’s defense and by the star’s accuser, DeAngelo Bailey, who filed his lawsuit in 2001. Her ruling is due within several weeks, reports the Detroit Free Press and the Macomb Daily.
Bailey, 32, a sanitation worker, is seeking $1 million in damages from Eminem (real name: Marshall Mathers III), 30. Both attended Dort Elementary School in Roseville, Mich., where Bailey still lives.
Bailey claims Eminem’s song, “Brain Damage,” which was included on 1999’s “The Slim Shady LP,” slandered him.
Among the song’s lyrics: “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.”
During Monday’s court hearing (at which Eminem did not appear), Bailey’s lawyer, Byron Nolen, denied that his client assaulted the young Mathers. Referring to Bailey, Nolen said: “When asked if he’s ever even touched Mr. Mathers, he has said, ‘Well I’m sure I bumped into him’ at the school.”
Eminem’s lawyer, Peter Peacock, says he has police and hospital records that substantiate the rapper’s claim that he was bullied.
“At first he (Bailey) seems to be ecstatic that his name’s in a CD that’s distributed all over the country. He’s telling all his friends about it,” Peacock said. “Then somewhere it seems he gets the idea he could make some money out of this, and he decides to sue.”