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Wednesday, 11 April, 2001, 09:03 GMT 10:03 UK
Eminem: Court decision fair
Eminem
Eminem says he wants to get back to his music
Rapper Eminem has said he was treated fairly by a judge who sentenced him to two years' probation for carrying a concealed weapon outside a nightclub in Detroit.


The judge treated me fair, like any other human being

Eminem
The 28-year-old star was also fined $2,500 and ordered to undergo counselling and submit to drug testing.

"The judge treated me fair, like any other human being," Eminem said outside the court.

"I just want to get it behind me and get back to spending time with my little girl and making music."

The charges stemmed from an incident outside a Detroit nightclub in June last year when Eminem - real name Marshall Mathers III - saw a man kissing his wife Kimberly.

Judge Antonio Viviano told the US court that although it was a serious offence to carry a weapon, the firearm was not loaded and posed no particular threat to human life.

Travel restriction

He also cited the fact that Eminem had no prior convictions, although he did make a reference to an altercation involving the star seven years ago.

But the judge imposed a travel restriction on the rapper. Eminem is allowed to move freely around the United States for work purposes but he can not go abroad without seeking permission from the court.

Eminem paperwork in court
The court imposed a list of rules
Music critic Brian McCollum, who writes for the Detroit Free Press, said this condition of probation could prove damaging to the rapper's career.

"For a guy who has been building his international career for the last year or so it provides a tricky scenario," he told the BBC.

"To have to go to court next time he wants to go to London or next time he wants to visit Asia - it's not as simple as hopping on a plane and heading over there."

Punishment


I don't think it's a lark and I don't think it's a slap on the wrist

Judge Antonio Viviano
In sentencing Eminem to probation, Judge Antonio Viviano said it was a punishment the rapper should take seriously. "I don't think it's a lark and I don't think it's a slap on the wrist."

The performer admitted carrying the weapon during his trial in February this year, as part of a plea deal with prosecutors, who dropped an assault charge against him.

The court in Mount Clemens, Michigan, heard that the star now had to comply with a list of rules laid out by the judge, including:

  • He must refrain from all excessive use of alcohol and any controlled substance unless prescribed

  • He must comply with requirement of alcohol and drug testing at the request of probation officers

  • No attempt could be made to make fraudulent samples for testing

"The aim of deterrence is to protect the public," said Judge Viviano. "Retribution and rehabilitation are specifically aimed at deterring the defendant from reoffending."

Controversy

Eminem, who looked tense during the judge's speech, could have been given a five-year jail sentence.

The singer spent most of his childhood in Detroit, where he met his wife, Kimberly Mathers, who has now filed for divorce.

His music and his lifestyle have long been embroiled in controversy.

His mother launched a $10m (6.9m) lawsuit against him for lyrics in the song My Name Is, which she said were defamatory.

The performer's concerts in the UK earlier this year were picketed by gay and lesbian rights' protesters who said his lyrics were sexist and homophobic.

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See also:

11 Apr 01 | Music
Eminem walks free from court
11 Apr 01 | Music
Eminem's criminal record
14 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Eminem fans quizzed over drug claims
15 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Eminem admits carrying weapon
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