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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
10/20/2004 10:13:15 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Eminem.

Hip-hop artist and Rapper Eminem was in shock last night (Oct 19) after the uncle, who he thought of as a father, committed suicide.

Todd Nelson, 42, shot himself in the head as he sat in his car. He had apparently become depressed over a sheriff’s rottweiler, which was allegedly making his family’s lives a misery.

Todd helped bring up the rapper, now 32, whose real dad walked out on him when he was a baby.

For Eminem – real name Marshall Mathers III – this is the second member of his family he has lost to suicide.

His other uncle Ronnie killed himself after his girlfriend dumped him.

A family friend said: “This news has hit Marshall hard. It will bring back all the memories of losing Ronnie.

“To lose two uncles at such a young age is terribly sad, especially as his father has never been around. The fact that they both committed suicide is so tragic.”

The rapper’s grandma, Betty Kresin, said the family was “completely devastated”.

She continued: “I’m so heart-broken. I don’t know if I can handle this as well. He’ll be buried next to my Ronnie.

“Todd had been very upset about a rottweiler owned by a local sheriff who was causing problems for the for his family.

“The dog scared his girlfriend’s son and scratched his car.

“But when he complained to police, they wouldn’t do anything about it.

“He shot himself in his car in his own backyard. My grandson, Todd junior, found his body. He thought his dad was asleep but he was dead.

“He called me and then Marshall and the rest of the family.”

The star’s home life seems to be steeped in tragedy.

Four years ago his ex-wife Kim tried to kill herself, and mum Debbie, 48, is recovering from breast cancer.

His family life has been plagued from the outset, but has been the inspiration to many of his songs.

The rapper recently fell out with Todd over his uncle’s plan to sell the family home, but as a youngster Eminem idolised him.

His uncle had said in the past that Eminem had been “a shy kid with few friends”.

He added: “Marshall grew up believing he was different form everyone else. It was something instilled in him from an early age by Debbie, me and his grandmother.

“Marshall was a happy kid. He was good at entertaining himself and he laughed a lot.

“I remember one time when I walked into his room and saw all these posters of black superstars on his walls. Basketball stars, baseball players and rappers. He would spend hours drawing groups such as Public Enemy and NWA. Even as a kid he idolised Dr Dre.

“At the time I thought he was going through some kind of identity crisis. But I guess he just knew from an early age.

“Everything Marshal has achieved professionally is wonderful. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

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