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Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 16:38 GMT
Eminem fans quizzed over drug claims

Eminem: Ever controversial
Police are interviewing fans who attended the Eminem concert in Manchester last week after reports that he took ecstasy on stage and encouraged others to do the same.

British Transport Police, who had detectives at the concert, seized video tapes following the rapper's performance at the Manchester Evening News Arena.

"We are gathering reports and statements from people who were inside," Chief Inspector Steve White told BBC News Online.

Police have contacted Eminem's solicitor who has said the rapper would be happy to help with enquiries and would "make himself available" if needed.

Protests

The controversial performer appeared to pop pills on stage, although he had told officers before the concert that he would be using dried-up pieces of chewing gum.

It is reported that the singer had been told he would be charged if he took drugs while on stage.

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

More than 100 gay and women's rights protesters, who claim his lyrics incite bigotry, picketed outside the arena.

Chief Inspector White said: "When we have all the reports we will look again at the allegations and make a decision about possible avenues to take."

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