Anyone who has ever listened to Eminem’s music will know full well that he hasn’t really got any time whatsoever for his father, who he blames for cruelly abandoning him and his mother when he was just two years old.
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Marshall Bruce Mathers II died yesterday at the age of 67 having never spoken to his son, but he did make the effort back in 2001 after he realised that his son had become a major music superstar by the name of Eminem. He sent him the following open letter that was published in The News Of The World which details his version of events that differs greatly to Eminem’s mother Debbie.
Here’s what he had to say:
HELLO, son. You won’t remember me, though I held you in my arms when you were a baby. You think I dumped you and your mother and never came looking for you. You’re convinced I’m a drunk who never answered any of your letters. Well, I want you to read this and realise you’ve been fed lies all your life. Now you’ll hear the truth for the first time. But I want to make it plain that I’m not after any handout. I work hard, I have money. I don’t need or want your money. But the one ambition left in my life is to give you a hug and tell you I’ve always loved you. Let me start at the beginning and tell you the whole story. I was just 21 when I married Debbie, your mum. She was 15 and had to get special permission. For a year we lived with my parents in the basement of a house in North Dakota. We married too young, it was ridiculous, but I was delighted when your mum became pregnant. She says I was drinking and doing drugs, but it isn’t true. She’s even claimed I wasn’t at the hospital when you were born, that I was gallivanting with her best friend. It’s a lie and I can prove it.
OK, I wasn’t there at your actual delivery, hospitals weren’t that keen to let in dads in those days. But I was there up to the delivery, and ten minutes afterwards. I still have the baby book in which Debbie recorded who was present in the hospital, and I’m listed — why would she write that if I wasn’t there? When you were a baby I loved it. You were so cute, and I enjoyed feeding you and doing your diapers. Your mum and I didn’t get on, but she was great with you — you were always clean and well-fed and well-dressed and I couldn’t fault her for that. But sadly the atmosphere between us deteriorated. We’d moved to our own apartment, and one day when you were about 16 or 17 months I came home from work and everything was missing. It was deathly quiet, no sound from the kitchen or from your room. Furniture, pictures, everything was gone. There wasn’t even a note. I got in my car and started to drive around anywhere you and your mum might be. I now believe you’d gone south to Missouri where Debbie had family. It was like a bolt from the blue. To read now that it was me who walked out makes me choke with tears of rage. I spent six weeks looking everywhere for you both, I was distraught. Eventually I got divorce papers, but it was all done through lawyers and they wouldn’t tell me where you both were. There was never a day in court, it was all done on paper. After about a year I gave it up, I just had no more energy for it. In the movies you’d track someone down, but in real life you can’t do that. You have a job, you have to work, you don’t have unlimited cash to go hunting around the nation. I’ve since read interviews where you say you wrote letters to me and they came back, ‘Return To Sender’. I can say on the word of God that I didn’t receive even one letter from you. Anyway, in 1975 I moved to San Diego, fell in love again and had a son and daughter. Michael’s 23 and Sarah’s 21. They’re the half-brother and sister you never met.
In fact it was Michael came to me and said there was this new rapper on the scene and his real name was the same as mine.I didn’t think anything of it, then someone showed me Rolling Stone magazine and there was a picture of Debbie holding you when you were little (pictured left). It freaked me out. On my behalf, Sarah wrote to you via your record company saying that I was alive and well and giving an address in the hope you’d get in touch. We didn’t even get an acknowledgement as a reply. When I moved to California your mum would have had no idea where I was, so how could you have been given a proper address? I suspect she just said anything to you, so you’d write the letter and the post office returned it. But that made her version of me being uncaring sound like the truth. If I was such a bad father, how come Michael and Sarah are still in touch with me and get on well despite the fact that I’ve parted from their mother? For the past two years I’ve had a new girlfriend. Her name’s Teresa Harbin and she’s 40. You’d like her. Me? Well, I’m 50 now and I’m a construction worker. There are so many lies to put to rest. There’s the picture of me apparently going into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. But I don’t drink any more. That photo is of me going into a DONUT shop, and I can prove it because the sign is in the background. I even read that Debbie has said I’m part Blackfoot Indian, and she’s part Cherokee. It sounds good. But actually your mum’s family come from Scandinavia, and my Dad’s family originate from South Wales. I’m told they have good singing voices in Wales, all those choirs, so maybe some of that rubbed off on you, son. It’d be nice to think so. Anyway, that’s about it for now. I just want you to know there hasn’t been a day when I haven’t thought about you. I’m saying all this in the News of the World because they’re the only paper who’ve bothered to find the truth. I’d get on a plane right now, this second, and go anywhere in the world if you’d meet with me. Please get in touch.
That’s pretty emo isn’t it, but I guess there’s no real way to verify it as it’s completely different to what Eminem’s mother said. Sounds kinda iffy that he never contacted anyone in Debbie’s family about their whereabouts either. I mean he didn’t mention it and that’s sorta the obvious thing that you would be doing there isn’t it? I guess if they weren’t getting on though maybe they just point blank refused. Who knows?
If it is true though it’s pretty sad, especially as Marshall II is dead now and his son never spoke to him. Eminem said in 2010 that he didn’t believe anything his father had written and that if his kids moved to the edge of the Earth he would find them, with or without money. Kinda gotta point there as well.
Guess we’ll never know the truth now though because he’s dead. RIP.
For more Eminem, check out this guy doing an impression of Eminem rapping. Lit.