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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 April, 2005, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Eminem safe from bully's lawsuit
Eminem
The song said the boy "grabbed me and choked my throat"
A man who bullied Eminem at school has been told he cannot sue the superstar over lyrics in which the rapper claimed he was almost killed by his schoolmate.

A Michigan appeals court dismissed DeAngelo Bailey's legal action because most fans would not take Eminem's story of a vicious attack seriously.

The lyrics were for Brain Damage, a song on 1999 album The Slim Shady LP.

The song also claimed the principal joined in the assault and Eminem's "whole brain fell out" of his skull.

The ruling from the three-judge panel upheld a decision in 2003 by a judge who composed a rap of her own to explain her opinion.

EMINEM - BRAIN DAMAGE
Way before my baby daughter Hailey, I was harassed daily by this fat kid named DeAngelo Bailey
He banged my head against the urinal till he broke my nose, soaked my clothes in blood, grabbed me and choked my throat
"The lyrics are stories no-one would take as fact/They're an exaggeration of a childish act," circuit judge Deborah Servitto said at the time.

Mr Bailey has admitted bullying Eminem, now 32, at Dort Elementary School in Roseville, Michigan - but said he just "bumped" him and gave him a "little shove".

The song's lyrics said: "Way before my baby daughter Hailey, I was harassed daily by this fat kid named DeAngelo Bailey...

"He banged my head against the urinal till he broke my nose, soaked my clothes in blood, grabbed me and choked my throat."

'Reasonable listener'

Mr Bailey, now a sanitation worker, claimed the song invaded his privacy by publicising unreasonable information that put him in a false light.

But on Friday, the judges said the lyrics would not be taken literally by a "reasonable listener".

Eminem's lawyer Mary Massaron Ross welcomed the decision. "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," she said.

Mr Bailey's lawyer Byron Nolen said he was not surprised by the ruling and would not appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. "I don't think [the justices] would even look at it to be honest with you," he said.




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