Eminem's Mom Speaks

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The following interview aired on the Feb. 27 edition of  The Pulse . If you haven't yet had a chance to catch television's hottest newsmagazine, be sure to tune in to the FOX network this Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. Check your local listings.

His name is Mathers, but he is no relation to Jerry who played Beaver Cleaver on TV in the '60s. This guy is Marshall, a man who calls himself Eminem and is also known by his alter ego, the slim shady.

Though he'll rap about having sex with your 15-year-old daughter or killing his own girlfriend, even this guy has a mother. Her name is Debbie Nelson and she gave birth to him 30 years ago when she was just 17.

Dirt poor, she fled an abusive marriage and raised Marshall and his younger brother alone. Now he raps about raping and murdering her in his recordings.

According to Nelson, there was none of that verbal abuse in the early years. She talked to FOX News' Bill O'Reilly about the son she once knew.

DEBBIE NELSON: He was like 14 years old, 13. He loved to write. He was very artistic. He could draw, he could write, he could do anything.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST OF THE O'REILLY FACTOR: So he had natural talent?

NELSON: Right. Marshall was breakdancing at 11 years old. He loved to breakdance. He was always talented.

O'REILLY: But there are millions of kids who are talented. How'd he break through? You say in the beginning he was positive in his songs, and then he turned vile and negative, Is that when it happened?

NELSON: He didn't turn violent and negative in my home when he would be practising, him and a lot of the kids in my basement. They did a lot of little recordings and then they went up to the studios.

But nobody was listening until, according to Nelson, he turned his rage on her.

O'REILLY: He says you were a drug addict and abusive.

NELSON: I'm an alcoholic and I'm a pothead and I'm all those things — it's just for show. I have to look at it and — in order to keep my sanity — I mean, it's supposed to be funny. It's funny to a certain extent.

O'REILLY: I wouldn't think it was funny to any extent. I've never ever in my life seen a mother attacked by her son as wickedly as your son attacked you in his music. How did you react to it?

NELSON: It was kind of hard at first, and then I had to just basically learn it was just all for show. It's part of his image.

O'REILLY: You think he has to shock to get attention?

NELSON: I think when he was positive, it didn't sell. When he went negative and the cussing and killing and all that, and attacking mom, he sold more records.

O'REILLY: But a few of your ex-boyfriends did tell the press that you pop pills and things like that.

NELSON: They're doing it to please Marshall. It's all about trying to get on Marshall's good side. He's got money.

Eminem doesn't just have money, he's got buckets of it. His vile rants have made him a multimillionaire. But mom has never gotten a dime, even though — in her mind — she's the one responsible for his success.

NELSON: I was the only role model in Marshall's life. Had it not been for me, he would not be where he's at today.

O'REILLY: You did it?

NELSON: Yeah, I had to. He only worked two years out of his whole life.

O'REILLY: So you're the reason that he succeeded?


If that's true, Eminem has a strange way of repaying her. He recently moved into a lavish estate just 12 miles from his mother's modest house, but Nelson has never been invited inside to see her own granddaughter.

O'REILLY: When was the last time you saw and talked to him?

NELSON: I saw Marshall probably about two or three weeks ago and then late Christmas Eve or Christmas day or night when he came out to the car with things he'd bought for his little brother.

O'REILLY: But he wouldn't invite you into his house?

NELSON: No. Until I'm invited, I'm not gonna go in. I sit in the driveway.

O'REILLY: Do you ever see your grandaughter?

NELSON: Not that often. She has called a couple of times. He monitors Haley when she's in the car sitting and talking with me and stuff..

Even though he's attacked her for years, Nelson claims a lawsuit she brought against Marshall for defamation of character in 1999 made things even worse.

O'REILLY: He's still angry with you. He's still estranged from you, and he's an angry guy in general. I mean, just the lyrics that he writes. I can't say them on television. The guy's an angry guy.

NELSON: He's been through a lot.

O'REILLY: He's got what they call issues.


O'REILLY: Is he a dangerous man, do you think?


O'REILLY: Your son isn't dangerous?

NELSON: No, he is not.

O'REILLY: A couple of gun convictions, no?

NELSON: No, he's not dangerous at all. Marshall's got a heart of gold.

O'REILLY: But if he had a heart of gold, he'd help you out.

NELSON: He helps everybody else out.

O'REILLY: But who is he helping with [his angry] lyrics? I think he hurts kids with these songs, especially kids who don't have a lot of supervision.

NELSON: I do agree. I do agree.

O'REILLY: You agree with that?

NELSON: Yes, I do. And I think that they should be monitored. I think the parents should be very careful, selective of what their kids listen to.

O'REILLY: Yeah, because I wouldn't want my kid listening to this stuff.

NELSON: I don't agree with it either, but that's what sells. That's what people want.

O'REILLY: You think your son is happy?

NELSON: No, I don't.

O'REILLY: How unhappy is he?

NELSON: I think from what I've heard, Marshall has been drinking a lot.

O'REILLY: Do you worry about Marshall?

NELSON: Of course I do. He's my son.

O'REILLY: How do you worry about him?

NELSON: It's very dangerous out there, the rap world. I was told it can be deadly.

O'REILLY: He's been nominated for an Academy Award for the 8 Mile song. When you see him hanging around with stars, Elton John and all that, what goes through your mind?

NELSON: I think it's neat. I think it'd be nice if I could sometimes be there. Like a lot of his friends and different people that he's taken to be with him in person.

O'REILLY: He's going to be watching tonight. He's gonna be watching the show.

NELSON: That's fine.

O'REILLY: Do you have a message for him?

NELSON: He needs to mature. He needs to get over whatever he's angry about. I was there with him for 14 years. It was just me and him against the world. I love him a lot, and I'm sure that he's gotta know that deep down inside. I've always been there for him. I always will be.