Eminem’s father, Marshall Bruce Mathers, Jr., has died, reports TMZ. He was 67.
Family members and neighbors say Mathers, who was known as Bruce, suffered an apparent heart attack at his home near Fort Wayne, Indiana, but officials have not yet released an official cause of death.
Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III, has always maintained that his father abandoned him, and that they never met.
In 2008, Eminem’s mother Debbie Nelson released a memoir called “My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem.” In the book, she explained that she married Bruce when she was 15 and he was 22. Eminem was born two years later, and they split soon after that.
Debbie wrote, “He never knew his father, and I did all I could to make up for it. I wanted Marshall to have a relationship with his father… but Bruce didn’t want to know.”
After Eminem shot to fame, Bruce opened up about their relationship to The Mirror, saying that Debbie and Eminem moved so much over the years that it was “impossible to find him.”
In the 2001 interview, Bruce claimed, “I desperately want to meet my son and tell him I love him. 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 in his life.”
The rapper hit back, telling the paper, “My father? I never knew him. I’ve never even seen a picture of him. I heard my dad is trying to get in contact with me, but not now. I never got one letter. I never got anything from him, and I think he could have at least tried to write. He could have done something – made an effort.”
Eminem has rapped about his father in the past. In “My Name Is,” he says, “I'm steamin' mad (Argh!) And by the way when you see my dad? (Yeah?) Tell him that I slit his throat, in this dream I had.”
In “Cleanin’ Out My Closet,” he raps, “I wonder if he even kissed me goodbye/No I don’t/On second thought I just f— wished he would die.”