Music Article

Beating the Rapper

Eminem moves to dismiss schoolmate's suit. Plaintiff says Slim defamed him in song by claiming he used to beat and bully young Marshall

Eminem is due for a faceoff against the man he says was the schoolyard bully who used to beat him regularly 20 years ago. According to the Detroit News, the rapper is due in Macomb Circuit Court outside Detroit on Aug. 18 for a hearing on his motion to dismiss the $1 million lawsuit filed by DeAngelo Bailey, who claims Eminem defamed him in his 1999 song ''Brain Damage.''

Bailey, a sanitation worker, filed suit in 2001, claiming that the song, with lyrics like, ''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,'' had not only harmed his reputation but had nipped his own rapping career in the bud. In the dismissal motion that Eminem's lawyer, Peter Peacock, filed last week, Peacock argues that Bailey is just trying to ''cash in on the fame of another,'' the News reports.

Besides, Peacock says, the lyrics are true. He argues that Bailey did routinely beat up young Marshall Mathers at Dort Elementary School in Roseville, Mich. He's backed by a lawsuit that Eminem's mother filed against the Roseville school district in 1982, claiming that school officials had failed to protect her son from frequent beatings and harassment by Bailey and others. (That suit, whose court papers are posted at The Smoking Gun, was dismissed on the grounds of governmental immunity.) Bailey's attorney, however, denies the beating accusation, E! Online reports. In any case, we'd bet there is a future Eminem song in the court face-off.

Originally posted Aug 05, 2003