M O U N T C L E M E N S, Mich., Aug. 8, 2001 -- A Macomb County Judge has ruled that rapper Eminem's mother is entitled to $1,600 of a $25,000 settlement she won against her son.
Debbie Mathers originally brought a $11 million defamation of character lawsuit against her hip-hop star son in 1999. In June, Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Mark Switalski ruled in her favor for $25,000.
On Monday, Switalski ruled that $23,354.25 of that figure belonged to Mathers' attorney, Fred Gibson.
Mathers Blamed for Change in Decision
Lawyers on both sides of the case say the ruling is Mathers' fault, because a deal she made with Gibson concerning her ex-husband, John Briggs, entitled the lawyer to more than the standard one-third of the settlement.
Mathers signed an agreement with Gibson in 1999 stating she would pay the attorney for representing Briggs in two felony cases in St. Clair County, in which he wound up serving nine months in jail on home invasion and malicious destruction of property convictions, Gibson said.
Her agreed method of payment was from proceeds of her defamation lawsuit against her son, if she won or settled, according to Gibson.
In June of this year, Mathers tried to fire Gibson and claimed he had coerced her into taking the $25,000 settlement. But Switalski ruled that Mathers had abandoned her legal standing to jockey for more money.
Famous Mom Plans Tell-All Book
Gibson said he was pretty sure he hadn't heard the last from Eminem's mother.
"This is not the last laugh because she was the most high-maintenance client I've had in my legal career," he said Monday. "That amount was a far cry to the time I dedicated to her personally and to the legal action."
Mathers sued her son, whose real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III, for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress due to lyrics on Eminem's debut CD, The Slim Shady LP.
Mathers told the Detroit Free Press that she is writing a book about her life raising Eminem.