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The BBC's Catherine Marston in Manchester
"In one act he brandished a chainsaw"
 real 56k

Friday, 9 February, 2001, 13:39 GMT
Police investigate Eminem show
Eminem
Eminem told police he took dried-up chewing gum
Police are reviewing tapes of Eminem's Manchester concert after allegations he took ecstasy and encouraged others to do the same.

The controversial performer appeared to pop pills on stage, although he had told officers beforehand that they were really dried-up pieces of chewing gum.

A spokeswoman from British Transport Police, which is responsible for policing the Manchester Evening News Arena, said: "We are reviewing tapes from the concert to see whether he took drugs or incited others to take them."

Eminem
Eminem toyed with a chainsaw on stage
He was questioned by Special Branch officers on Thursday afternoon when he arrived in the UK.

It is reported that he was warned he would be charged if he swallowed drugs on stage.

He told the crowd at the show: "My friend Xzibit gave me some Es and I say pop the pill.

"I told you that you were a bunch of drug addicts, I hope these Es are good s***. If they're not you'll all be carrying my sorry ass home tonight."

The hour-and-a-half long show was picketed by more than 100 gay and women's rights protesters, who claim his lyrics incite bigotry.

Protester Chloe Poem
A demonstrator outside the venue
A similar protest is expected outside Friday evening's show outside the London Arena on the Isle of Dogs, east London, where Eminem will also perform his final UK show on Saturday.

Protesters demanded he "stop the bigotry, stop the hate" as 15,000 fans attended the show in Manchester.

But fans in Manchester largely ignored the peaceful protest, and gave the 28-year-old US performer an ecstatic welcome.

Protest organiser Daniel Murphy, from the National Union of Students, said: "We want to call attention to the fact that his lyrics have a direct effect on the lifes of gay people.

"People look up to Eminem and adopt his language and his attitude. Others claim his lyrics don't matter but obviously if they are causing detriment to people's lives then they do."

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See also:

09 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Eminem's family pleads for peace
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Students protest at Eminem show
07 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Stage set for Eminem
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Eminem's mother could 'drop lawsuit'
08 Feb 01 | UK
Never mind the headlines...
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Rapper divides a city
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