20 OCTOBER 2003
Eminem has scored a victory for both himself and for hip-hop, after a judge dismissed a case against him by rapping.
D'Angelo Bailey, who went to school with the musician, was suing over a song which he said portrayed him as a bully. The plaintiff is mentioned by name on Eminem's first album, but it seems Judge Deborah Servitto couldn't accept his claims of defamation.
"My Bailey says that his rap is trash, so he's seeking compensation in the form of cash," declared the rhyming judge. "Bailey thinks he's entitled to some monetary gain, because Eminem used his name in vain."
"The lyrics are stories no-one would take as fact, they're an exaggeration of a childish act. It is therefore this court's ultimate position, that Eminem is entitled to summary disposition."
Mr Bailey says he only bumped into the rapper, though he admits his circle of friends did "bully-type things" to him. Eminem's song Brain Damage describes a vicious beating in which his nose was broken, however.
In 1982 the 31-year-old's mother Debbie filed suit against Roseville Community Schools for an alleged attack on her son. Mr Bailey was named in the court documents, though the case eventually failed.
Two decades later, it is Mr Bailey's lawsuit that has been thrown out, leaving his lawyer feeling somewhat bemused. "I don't know what the Court of Appeals would think of this," said Byron Nolen after hearing the hip-hop ruling.