The Real Grim Shady
RAP megastar EMINEM should be at the top of his game, cherry-picking the best talent for his production company.
Instead, The Sun can reveal, he is an overweight, spotty recluse with health problems who gorges on fatty food, and spend his days watching TV and playing computer games.
The one-time workaholic used to constantly scribble lyrics on scraps of paper then toil tirelessly in his studio revising songs.
But the 35-year-old has been crippled by writer’s block and now wastes his time with hangers-on at his Detroit mansion.
We revealed yesterday that the music legend’s 5ft 8in frame has ballooned to 14½st and that he is battling heart problems.
Now his desperate mother Debbie Nelson, 51, says: “I fear for him every waking moment.”
Em — real name MARSHALL MATHERS III — burst on to the scene in 1999 with The Slim Shady LP and has sold more than 70MILLION albums, winning a string of gongs.
Not content with dominating music, the bleach blond maestro turned his attention to movies and starred in the semi-autobiographical 8 Mile in 2002.
He even scooped Best Original Song Oscar for the soundtrack’s anthemic hit Lose Yourself.
He has dabbled in rap production, setting up Shady Records in 2000, and was an executive producer on his protégé 50 CENT’s debut record Get Rich Or Die Tryin’.
But things have screeched to a halt for the former golden boy — and his fall from grace culminated in a four-day hospital stint over Christmas with pneumonia and heart problems.
The deeply depressed star refuses to stop binge eating and gorges on calorie-busting Mexican takeaways and heart-clogging fillet steak.
In her new book Debbie, reckons her son is barely recognisable these days. She says: “He’s let his blond hair grow out so everything but the ends are dark. His face has broken out in pimples and he’s put on so much weight that he’s causing all sorts of other health problems for himself.
“Since childhood he’s suffered bouts of pneumonia. He’s always had throat infections and he’s asthmatic. His diet can’t help. I worry about his health all the time. He’s always had high blood pressure and his cholesterol levels must be sky high. He orders fillet steak takeout from an expensive restaurant almost every evening.
“I dread to think what his bills are — he pays for everyone hanging around the house.”
Em and Debbie fell out in 2001 when they became embroiled in a nasty court case over interviews he had given saying she was a pill-popping alcoholic who lived off welfare benefits and boyfriends.
Single mum Debbie was devastated by the fall-out — and his bile-filled lyrics aimed at her in 2002 hit Cleanin’ Out My Closet.
Debbie now believes Em is becoming more like tragic superstar ELVIS PRESLEY every day.
The pair have been compared for being white artists who have taken traditional black music to the mainstream.
Em mocked Presley in the video for his hit Without Me. An obese Presley locked himself in his Graceland mansion and surrounded himself with a Memphis mafia of groupies. He died of a heart attack, aged just 42, after years of drug abuse.
Eminem’s mother fears he is also heading for an early grave if he doesn’t totally change his lifestyle.
The rapper first retreated behind the doors of his home 18 months ago after his best pal and fellow rapper DeShaun “Proof” Holton was shot dead outside a club.
Debbie says childhood friend Proof was the only person Eminem truly trusted. He would often pull Em up on his drug taking and problems with his two-time wife Kim. In the months after Proof’s death Em was once again fighting with Kim.
‘ I fear for my son every waking moment - particularly his health ’
Their second marriage in 2006 lasted just 82 days, with Kim claiming he was back on drugs — after a brief stint in rehab — and refusing to get help.
Eminem has known Kim since he was 15. He says she is the only woman he has ever loved. But his mum believes Kim is another bad habit he just can’t give up.
The pair share custody of their 12-year-old daughter Hailie and live on the same exclusive gated estate. His inner circle, including 50 Cent, say it is unlikely Eminem will tour again because he likes to be at home for Hailie.
But at 12 she is becoming more independent and often refuses to stay in with her doting dad.
Even so, she is one of the few people who can actually persuade Eminem to leave the house.
He drives her to school most mornings and goes to her dance recitals.
Last year it was said he would star in Have Gun — Will Travel, a movie remake of an old American western TV series. He was expected to bring out his autobiography and was said to have a new album in the works.
But three months ago he said on US radio his career was “in limbo”.
He still has a stable of top acts, including chart-topper AKON, but even his D12 crew are working on solo projects.
Debbie says one of the reasons she penned her book was to remind her son of the good times they once had.
She claims he has no memory of 1999 — his breakthrough year and the year he first married Kim — because he was so strung out on drink and drugs. The book reveals Em was a mummy’s boy in his teens but once he reached adulthood he started lashing out at her, even beating her up on his 23rd birthday.
Debbie refuses to blame her son, saying Kim created many of the problems between them.
She says: “No one prepares you for the downside of celebrity.
“Marshall says fame brought a slew of problems he never expected. He no longer trusts anyone. Everyone wants a piece of Eminem the megastar, not Marshall Mathers the man.
“I call these people the circling vultures — they spot dollar signs and swoop in for the kill.”
After discovering her son had spent Christmas in hospital, Debbie is even more concerned about her son’s destructive behaviour.
She adds: “If he needs me, I’ll be there in a heartbeat.”
My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem by Debbie Nelson is published by John Blake.