Uncivil Actions

UPDATED 09/04/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/04/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

The Aug. 16 announcement that volatile white rapper Eminem was ending his 14-month marriage to Kim Mathers seemed a masterpiece of understatement. "There has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship," said court papers filed by Marshall Bruce Mathers III seeking a divorce from Kim, 25, "to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed."

Objects of matrimony would indeed seem shattered for a union reflected offstage in her July attempted suicide and represented onstage by the performer's abusive antics with an inflatable "Kim doll." In fact, the doll is cited by Kim in a related civil suit filed in Michigan on Aug. 21 as evidence of Eminem's "intentional infliction of emotional distress." Just as disturbing, she claims in the suit, is the song "Kim," in which the rapper also known as Slim Shady fantasizes about beating her up. The price tag for her distress: $10 million.

But it was his alleged threat to evict her from their $450,000 suburban Detroit home that Kim cites in her own countercomplaint for divorce. In the same complaint, she says that her husband recently cut off her credit card privileges.

A battle is also looming over their daughter Hailie Jade, 4, who lives with Kim. Her father is asking for joint custody. "He is a caring, sensitive, good parent," says Eminem's lawyer, Harvey Hauer. Not exactly, counters Kim's attorney, Neil Roc-kind: "Eminem has been home three days since June 1. Hailie sees more of him by popping in a music video. Knowing Kim, I can't see her ever relinquishing her parental rights."

Nor what's owed her. Rockind says he wants his client to get "her fair share," including royalties from Eminem's double-platinum albums. "She provided emotional support that allowed him to get where he is."

Is there any chance of reconciling? "I never say never," says Hauer. But Rockind thinks it's time Slim Shady's lady moved on. "She is like a beautiful flower. Once we take this shade away from her, she will bloom."

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