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
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.
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.