‘Bully’ Loses Case Against Eminem

The real-life bully

portrayed in Eminem’s song "Brain Damage" lost his appeal to sue the

rapper over the song Friday (April 16).

A Michigan state appeals court ruled that Deangelo Bailey, a

sanitation worker who admitted picking on Eminem when the two were schoolmates,

cannot pursue a lawsuit against the rapper because of the song’s lyrics.

A panel of three judges decided that the song, which appeared

on Eminem’s debut album The Slim Shady LP in 1999, was not meant to

be taken literally.

According to the judges, lyrics where Eminem talks about his

brain falling out of his skull among other gruesome images would be deemed figurative

speech by a "reasonable listener."

The court also ruled that Bailey did not present any factual

issues in his lawsuit.

"The fact that there may have been differences in the precise

facts didn’t matter because the gist of the story was true by Bailey’s own admission,"

Mary Massaron Ross, an attorney for Eminem, told the Associated Press.

In the song "Brain Damage," Eminem rhymes about Bailey

beating him up in a school bathroom, banging his head on a urinal and choking

him.

Bailey sued Eminem in 2001, alleging that the rapper painted

false images of him and disrupted his privacy.

While Bailey confessed to bullying Eminem, he stated that he

only "bumped" the rapper at school and threw a "little shove."

Bailey’s attorney, Byron Nolen, said he does not plan to appeal

the decision to the Michigan Supreme Court.

The ruling upheld a 2003 decision by Macomb County Circuit Judge

Deborah Servitto, who delivered her decision in the form of a rap.

"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,” Servitto rapped.

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