Eminem to Battle Alleged Bully in Court
05/21/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT
A former schoolmate of Eminem's will get his day in court next week, after filing a $1 million lawsuit against the rapper claiming he was defamed in a song about being bullied.
But he'll have to do it without his lawyer, the Detroit Free Press reports.
A May 30 trial date is set for DeAngelo Bailey -- a Roseville, Mich., sanitation worker who filed his suit in 2001 claiming Eminem's 1999 song "Brain Damage" damaged his reputation.
The bad news for Bailey: On Monday, Macomb County, Mich., Circuit Judge Deborah Servitto granted a request by his lawyer, John Chupa, to be removed from the case, apparently because of a breakdown in communications with his client.
It is unclear who, if anyone, will now represent Bailey.
In "Brain Damage," Eminem (real name: Marshall Mathers III), 30, recalls that Bailey was a fat kid who shoved him into lockers and broke the rapper-to-be's nose on a urinal in their Macomb County middle school. Bailey was actually two grades ahead of Mathers, the Free Press reports.
Bailey insists the story is a big fat lie, and alleges that Mathers has defamed him and invaded his privacy -- in addition to sabotaging Bailey's efforts to get his own rap-music career off the ground.
"Eminem is a Caucasian male who faced criticism within the music industry that he had not suffered through difficult circumstances growing up and was therefore a 'pretender,'" Bailey's lawsuit claims. "Eminem used Bailey, his African-American childhood schoolmate, as a pawn in his effort to stem the tide of criticism."
Eminem, however, has some legal paperwork to back up his bully stories. In court documents obtained by the Smoking Gun Web site, the rapper's mother sued the Roseville school district in 1982, claiming school-day beatings by Bailey left her son with headaches, nausea and a tendency toward anti-social behavior.
The lawsuit was later dismissed.