Interview: Eminem's Mom Debbie Nelson on Her Son Marshall, Her New Book, Sending Slim Shady Holiday Checks

That's probably very deliberate.

Anything my son does, I applaud him. And I feel a little bit sorry that in there that whoever wrote his book, they got my little brother [Ronnie]'s last name wrong [it's Polkingham], they got his date of birth wrong, they got a lot of things wrong that were told to me on the phone when a couple of my really good friends were reading me the book.

Do you know if Marshall has read your book?

I was told that he had.

Did you think that he would?

I'm not sure. I kinda thought that he might be curious. And then when his one friend told me that his bodyguard got the UK version out of a bookstore in New York, a couple years ago, it's like, "You gotta be kidding me." They were bootlegged, I guess.

I think he wanted to make sure I wasn't in there dogging him or saying horrible, bad things about him. I'm not going to do that.

Was working on this book a way of communicating with him?

No. It's just basically to jog his memory about the happy times. For him to go back, even if he briefed it, if he didn't read the whole thing. Maybe it even helped him with his book, as far as with [dressing up as a child as] Batman and Robin. I still remember those days and that's something I'm going to cherish. Nobody can take those from me. I was a single parent.

[The book is also] showing too a pattern that I'm a very proud mother. I don't think there's anything he can do to me that he hasn't already done through the media. I think the media has taken and ran with a lot of things. I don't blame [Marshall] for not reading a lot of magazines because the media has gotten it all wrong all the time.

But somebody had to get behind him, honey, to get him where he is today. I know there was many times when he felt defeated and wanted to give up. Somebody had to get behind him to push him. And it sure as hell wasn't anybody else except me. He had no father in the picture. His dad comes out, 27-28 years later. I say, 'Go after him for the child support he owes you, son.'

So what's the future for you?

For me? Basically, to sit back and chill out. It's not about money, had there been any in for me, it was just basically, I was wanting to write a book about my life.

You mentioned your health isn't good now. In the book, you said your breast-cancer diagnosis was wrong.

The second time, it wasn't.

Oh, wow. I'm sorry. How are you?

I'm still under doctor's care. Which I probably will be for a while. Basically a lot of the stuff is hereditary, but that happens. Cancers and heart disease and all that, and all the genetic things. I worry about my boys, having high-blood pressure and things.

I have doctors who've played a lot of games with me, then told me they have shrines to my son in their homes. Then call me aside and tell me, "I heard that little brat beat you everyday." And it's like, "What? What does that have with me being here?" It's really sad.

It's bad enough that the police officer in Southern states call me "Eight Mile." Eight Mile? I'm just thinking, "Ignorance is bliss, it's not a true story."

Have you ever thought about not speaking to another reporter for the rest of your life?

Yes, and I didn't for many years. But then I had somebody impersonating me, even on the Internet. And they were pretending to be me since 1999.

So that made you want to start talking to the media again?

No, no, no. There won't be that many interviews.


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