Eminem’s Mom Sets the Record Straight in New Book
From Marshall Mathers III's days as an elementary school student mimicking his favorite superheroes, his mother, Debbie Nelson, knew he was going to be a star. "Marshall used to bounce all the time and hum against the wall when he'd get tired, or he would sit on the couch or sit in the car and bounce and hum," Nelson told the BoomBox about the man now known as Eminem. "Everybody would say, 'That kid's retarded.' But nobody could say anything about my son."
She may have stuck up for her son but the tables were turned on Eminem's albums. She fervently supported his career but Nelson fell victim to his vicious rap attacks, most notably on the song 'Cleanin' Out My Closet.' In discussing her book, 'My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem: Setting the Record Straight,' Nelson rationalized Eminem's rants by saying it was easier for him to attack their relationship than his ties to the family of his wife, Kim.
"There's nothing I wouldn't have done for my son," said Nelson, who does not currently have a relationship with the rap star. "When he first went out there, pressing those tapes and stuff with the (1996) 'Infinite' album, I was passing them out to all of my limousine customers. He told me, 'Mom, "positive" is not selling.'
"When he went negative and had to be different and was very creative, he thought, 'I'll just attack mom because if I attack Kim's family they'll go after me and sue me. But if I attack my mother, it'll be different.' We were all surprised on that bill."
However, Eminem's mom did sue her son for $10 million because of his lyrics and comments to the media. She won about $25,000. In the opening words of Chapter 19, Nelson says, "I did not mean to sue my son for defamation. I just wanted to stop my home being repossessed and clear up the financial problems that had been caused." She wrote that her lawyer said suing Eminem would be a "wake-up call" and he would stop demeaning her publicly. Apparently it didn't work, as a year later he released "Cleanin' Out My Closet," a scathing testimony to the way his mother treated him as a child.
The lawsuit came on the heels of what Nelson calls a onetime strong relationship. She allowed him to explore his creativity through his dressing up as Batman, Robin or Spider-Man and went to great lengths to make her son happy. She said she does not worry about her son's reaction to the book.
"If anything, it blows him up," said Nelson, who has not heard leaked versions of Eminem's new material. "It shows I'm a very proud mother."