MOUNT CLEMENS — A Macomb Circuit judge threw out a $1 million lawsuit Friday filed by Eminem’s elementary school classmate against the rapper for defamation of character.
DeAngelo Bailey of Roseville sued the rapper, whose real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III, in 2001, claiming his song “Brain Damage” depicted him in a false light. In the song, Eminem says Bailey beat him up regularly in elementary school.
Eminem asked Judge Deborah Servitto to dismiss the lawsuit, which she did.
In her written opinion, Servitto wrote a song saying Eminem’s lyrics about Bailey posed no grounds for a lawsuit.
“The lyrics are stories no one would take as fact/ They’re an exaggeration of a childish act,” Servitto wrote in her 36-line rap. “Any reasonable person could clearly see/that the lyrics could only be hyperbole.”
Bailey, a trash collector, is accused in Eminem’s song of being a bully who shoved Eminem into school lockers and broke his nose on a bathroom urinal at school.
Eminem’s lawyer, Peter Peacock, sought dismissal of the suit because he said the lyrics were true and that Bailey was an opportunist trying to cash in on the rapper’s success.
Eminem’s mother filed suit against the Roseville school district in 1982 over incidents between Bailey and Eminem at Dort Elementary School. The lawsuit was dismissed the following year because of governmental immunity.
Bailey said in court papers he never broke Eminem’s nose or beat or choked him in the school bathroom, like the 1999 song on “The Slim Shady LP” says.
Bailey’s attorney, Byron Nolen, said he was surprised Servitto wrote a rap to explain the case.
“I’m shocked that a judge would do that,” Nolen said.
There is no defamation in telling the truth. It is kind of shocking to hear those sarcastic rhymes.
Eminem’s story is a 100% true.
Bailey, who was two years older, a much bigger guy than him, terrorized him with a group of kids at Roseville Elementary School. About Marshall, D’Angelo says: “He was small, plus he had a big mouth.” According to legal sources (Debbie Mathers sued Marshall’s school), there are four recorded incidents of Marshall getting beaten up.
On October 15th, 1981, he got beaten up, was bruised, and got the wind knocked out of him. The consequences were nausea, abnormal sleepiness and had injuries on his lips and tongue.
Later November 14th, Marshall took another beating. He suffered from insomnia, vomiting, nightmares and antisocial behavior. And it went on like this on December 21st: Marshall had injuries on his face, head, back and legs after another beating.
But the worst was to come in 1982, on January 13th. Marshall was intentionally hit with a snowball containing a heavy object, was wounded severely while lying on the ground and went into a coma. He also suffered from intermittent loss of vision in his right eye and from an intermittent loss of hearing when he woke up from the coma.
When Marshall was transferred to the hospital, the doctors thought he was to die, but Marshall woke up 10 days later, and the first sentence he said was: “now I can spell elephant”. Debbie Mathers tried to sue Roseville Elementary School in 1982, because of Marshall’s head injury. She tried to prove that her son suffered from a lot of post-beating symptoms. But, unfortunately, the lawsuit was dismissed in 1983.
Who was talking about exaggeration?