Eminem has long made his ex-wife, Kim Mathers, a target in his lyrics – and Mathers says the abuse pushed her to try and take her own life.
Mathers, 32, tells Dr. Keith Ablow in an episode of his talk show airing Friday that the final straw came when she saw Eminem (real name: Marshall Bruce Mathers III) onstage beating a blow-up doll that resembled her while singing a song about her.
“Seeing the crowd’s response and everybody cheering, singing the words and laughing and it just felt like everyone was staring at me,” she says. “I knew that it was about me and that night I went home and I tried to commit suicide.”
Eminem, 34, and the former Kim Scott were married twice, from 1999 to 2001 and again for less than three months last year. They have a daughter, Hailie Jade, 11, and adopted Mathers’s niece, Alaina, 13.
Mathers tells Ablow that she married Eminem the first time to keep him “faithful and grounded” when he went on tour – but it didn’t work.
“When Marshall’s first tour started is when his ego just went ‘poof,’ ” she says. “Like he was God, that’s what he thought. … I was just told that I should be grateful that he still talks to me, you know how many women throw themselves at him. And I just pretty much felt like a piece of crap.”
But she still agreed to marry him a second time in 2006. “We decided [to get married] on Jan. 14,” she says. “Marshall wanted to do it because it was our 15th year together from our original day we started going out.
“And even on that day I said, ‘Let’s just go through the ceremony but not sign the marriage license.’ Because I was just afraid of what would happen if we had to go through a divorce, our kids. And then 41 days later, Feb. 25, Marshall left.”
Last week, a British tabloid said the couple were planning to wed a third time, a report Eminem’s rep told PEOPLE was “absolutely untrue.”
Now, Mathers tells Ablow of her ex, “I believe that Marshall has issues on how to express his love, and I don’t think he knows how to treat women because he wasn’t treated well by his mother. He still had a lot of anger towards her.”