Eminem's dad makes plea

2001-02-09 11:00

London - The father of controversial white American rap star Eminem said he was desperate to get to know the son he walked out on as a baby, according to an interview published on Friday.

Marshall Mathers II said he wanted forgiveness and not money from the star, who began his sellout tour of Britain on Thursday amid protests from gay rights groups.

The plea followed a similar message of reconciliation from Eminem's mother - on Thursday she said she might consider dropping a $10 million lawsuit against her son.

"I desperately want to meet my son and tell him that I love him," Eminem's father told Britain's mass-selling Mirror newspaper from his home in San Diego, California.

"I'm not interested in his money. I just want to talk to him. I want him to know that I'm here for him if he lets me back into his life."

However, his plea is likely to fall on deaf ears.

The Mirror reported that for years when he was a child Eminem, real name Marshall Mathers III, had sent letters to his father because he was bullied at school but had never received a reply.

"I don't know anything about my dad and I don't care," the paper reported the singer as saying.

Some of his song lyrics are even more explicit on the subject. "When you see my dad, tell him I slit his throat in this dream I had."

It was similar venomous lyrics that landed the singer with a lawsuit from his mother, Debbie Mathers-Briggs. But she said on Thursday she might be ready to drop the legal action and make up.

"That's something we are seriously thinking about. We're working on it," she told ITV's "Tonight with Trevor McDonald".

But while his parents may be keen to forgive and forget, his critics aren't.

Gay rights and womenÆs' groups staged a protest outside the venue for the rapper's first British concert in the northern city of Manchester, saying he was a homophobe who fuelled prejudice with hate-filled lyrics.

The 15 500 fans were greeted by activists carrying placards and chanting "Eminem you're not funny, you oppress us to make money".

"The basic reason why we organised the protest is the fact that Eminem's lyrics are not only homophobic, they are also misogynistic," Vicki Austin, National Union of Students gay and lesbian campaigner.

"We're not suggesting that the concert either shouldn't go ahead, or should be banned or shouldn't be going on in Manchester. What we are saying is that we think people should be aware of what the lyrics contain."