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A Dedication to Eminem
What They Say....About Eminem And Hailie Jade
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Cleaning Out My Closet- The Book

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What people have to say about Em, his relationship with Hailie and more

CLINTON TOWNSHIP --

Eight days before the release of "8 Mile," the movie's star walked
through his neighborhood at dusk wearing a white hockey mask and navy
sweats. The hood of his sweatshirt was up.Marshall Bruce Mathers III,
aka Eminem, wasn't performing one of his twisted raps. He was
trick-or-treating with Kimberly Mathers, his former wife, and
6-year-old Hailie Jade, the couple's daughter. Yellow mums, stacks of
hay and pumpkins line the steps leading to the front door of their
palatial abode in
Clinton Township inside the Manchester
Estates, an exclusive gated community of 27 homes.Three festive
Halloween displays -- each with a smiling scarecrow -- dot Eminem's
front yard. An indoor pool and a recording studio are inside. It's
here, away from the adoring fans, the music stages and the movie sets,
that Eminem, a 30-year-old multimillionaire, leads a somewhat ho-hum
everyday life in sharp contrast to his movie and stage persona. But
there is a dark side to the dishwasher-turned-icon's everyday
existence. Eminem, the foul-mouthed high school dropout from Warren
whose rise to fame has been both vitriolic and meteoric, struggles to
live a normal life, to find people who won't betray him, to understand
his critics and to stay safe, said Betty Kresin, who stays in touch
with her grandson mostly by phone. He has to wear a bullet-proof vest
sometimes because of threats from rappers and people who used to work
for him," Kresin said by telephone from her home in
St. Joseph, Mo.

"He should be sitting on Easy Street. But instead, he's still
struggling." It's dichotomies like this -- bad-boy rapper walking
door-to-door with his family on Halloween -- that reveal the "real"
Eminem, known as "Em" or"Marshall" to family and friends. The guy next
door "
Marshall is a very good father and a very nice person -- very
down-to-earth," said Cathy Roberts, 45, Eminem's next-door neighbor.
Another neighbor, Dave Crorey, said the Eminem he has met belies his
image. "He seems a little timid," said Crorey, 57, a retired
businessman. "He's nothing like he's portrayed -- a wild kid and all
that. He seems a little on the shy side." But in a recording studio
and on stage, he advocates rape, disparages homosexuals and snubs
Middle America. Much of his music is too salacious for radio play, but
he's on the air at least once an hour in Metro
Detroit. Members of
Congress attack him -- and his lyrics. On his most recent album, "The
Eminem Show," the rapper refers to himself as "thug-like." But Eminem
is no more a thug than the doctors and businessmen who are his
neighbors. After bolting from his more modest $450,000 home on Hayes
in
Sterling Heights in search of a place where neighborhood children
wouldn't steal his mailbox and leave M&M wrappers on his lawn, he
bought this redish-brown brick colonial for $1.48 million in August
2000. Neighbors are clear on one thing: He fits in well. In Eminem's
circular driveway near a fountain, his uncle, Jack B. Schmitt, said
his nephew's privacy is important to him. It's why he declines most
interview requests. "He can't go to the store because he'd be mobbed,"
said Schmitt, who lives with Mathers, Hailie, Schmitt's wife, Betti,
and the couple's three boys. The rapper -- who lyrically dogs suburban
kids who say they're from
Detroit -- appears to respect his neighbors
and his secluded neighborhood.
Family man
J.R. "Jen" Watkins, who describes herself as "Eminem's former best
friend," dishes the dirt about him in her new book, "Cleaning Out My
Closet." The book chronicles the rapper's life with his wife, Kimberly
-- and others -- between May 2001 and May 2002. "He's always seeing
someone," Watkins said. To Watkins, Eminem is only Eminem in front of
the camera or in recording studios. At home, she said he's a big kid
who enjoys playing with his daughter and making her laugh. "He's a
very good daddy," Watkins said. "He's trying to give Hailie more of a
normal life than he had." Watkins, who grew up in Warren and was good
friends with Kimberly Mathers for 20 years, said she basically ran
Eminem's house after Kim and he divorced in 2001 after a stormy
two-year marriage. She said Eminem and Kim don't live together now but
are back together as a couple, leading Eminem to cut ties with her.
Eminem's publicists won't say whether Kim and Eminem are considering
remarriage and he won't talk about it other than to say: "Kim is back
in my life."

When Watkins was in Eminem's life, there were weeks when she watched
Hailie -- who grew close with Watkins' two young girls, Kayla, 14,
and Katie, 7 -- every day while Eminem worked on "8 Mile." She picked
up after the kids and cooked spaghetti or tacos -- Eminem's favorite
food other than cereal -- while he would run around the house acting
goofy. He apparently does a pretty good Kermit the Frog. Watkins said
it wasn't odd to see Eminem moon friends or family members or to see
him take time out for Hailie whenever she wanted his attention. "If
he's downstairs working in the studio and she goes down and says,
'Daddy, I want you to come jump with me,' he'll put everyone on hold
while he goes outside and jumps on the trampoline with her," Watkins
said. Money-wise, Eminem isn't showy or ostentatious and the wads of
cash he spends is on others, Watkins said. But he does partake in the
finer things in life. He has been photographed in monogrammed dress
shirts with cuff links and a tie. On his wedding finger is a diamond
and platinum ring -- a gift from Hailie that spells "DAD" -- that
friends swear he never takes off.He drives a leased Mercedes-Benz, but
likes Fords. He recently sold a Mustang. And the uncle who lives with
him drives a new Ford Excursion. On trips close to home, Eminem
prefers riding in Fords. "We would normally take my (Ford) Expedition
to the movies or Dairy Queen because he hates driving and we could fit
all the kids in," Watkins said. In the truck, the kids always listen
to Eminem CDs. "He turns the volume down when he starts swearing,"
Watkins said.
troubles fuel lyrics
Yellow notepads of raps or lyrics in progress can be found all over
his house, said former friend Watkins. Sarcasm and anger often end up
on those pads, but the notes are hard to read because he writes so
small, she said. The lyrics are why Eminem has been pegged as
homophobic, a misogynist and worse. The criticism bothers him. He
says so in some of his songs. But criticism also fuels him. He says
that, too. And usually, if someone objects to something, he turns
around with a bigger dose of it because he knows it will spark more
controversy and more record sales. "In his words, 'No publicity is bad
publicity,' " Watkins said. Kresin, who talks regularly with her
grandson on the phone, worries about the dark clouds that have dogged
him: * The pale, frail teen was bullied and beat up in school. Once,
he spent 10 days in a hospital after a classmate attacked him. * When
Eminem was 19, his best friend and uncle, Ronnie Polkingharn, died
from a gunshot wound. Betty Kresin's youngest son was the same age as
Mathers. Polkingharn turned Mathers on to rap music and the two were
like brothers. * Eminem's mother, Debbie Nelson, filed two defamation
lawsuits, one in 1999 for $10 million and another in 2000 for $1
million. Both suits, settled for a total of $25,000, were based on
comments the rapper made about his mother and childhood, describing
her as strung out on prescription drugs and addicted to bingo. * Last
year, Eminem was sentenced to probation -- two years in
Macomb County
and one year in
Oakland County -- stemming from two arrests on the
same day in June 2000. That evening, Eminem pistol-whipped a man who
kissed his wife outside a
Warren bar."Who hasn't tried to hurt the
boy?" Kresin said.
Dichotomy continues
The film "8 Mile," a story about making it in the rap world, is
loosely based on what Eminem went through in the mid-1990s.
America's
best rapper -- Chris Rock gave him the label -- grew up poor. He
gained recognition in rap and hip-hop circles because of his link to
Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young. A rap disciple, Dr. Dre
co-produced "The Slim Shady LP," Eminem's major label debut. The
record was released in 1999. Two years earlier, Eminem was working as
a cook and dishwasher at Gilbert's Lodge in
St. Clair Shores.
On his most recent album, "The Eminem Show," Eminem continues to
reveal more about himself. True, some of his lyrics still are laced
with profanity and there's more righteous indignation, but Eminem also
is empathetic and almost apologetic in response to criticism. On "Sing
for the Moment," a song that incorporates Aerosmith's "Dream On,"
Eminem declares: "It's all political, if my music is literal and I'm a
criminal, how ... can I raise a little girl? I couldn't. I wouldn't be fit to.

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