Deborah R. Nelson-Mathers Biography

Deborah R. Nelson-Mathers is an American author and singer, well known as the mother of Grammy Award winning rapper, Eminem. Check out this biography to know more about her childhood, family life, affairs and controversies associated with her.

Quick Facts

Birthday: January 6, 1955

Nationality: American

Famous: Family Members American Women

Age: 65 Years, 65 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Capricorn

Born in: St. Joseph, Missouri, United States

Famous as: Eminem's Mother


Spouse/Ex-: John Briggs

father: Bob Nelson

mother: Betty Hixson

siblings: Betty Renee, Ronnie Polkinghorn, Steven Nelson, Todd Nelson

children: Eminem, Nathan Kane Samara

U.S. State: Missouri

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Deborah R. Nelson-Mathers is an American author and singer, well known as the mother of Grammy Award winning rapper, Eminem. She had a rough childhood and gave birth to Eminem, while she was a teenager. Abandoned by her husband, she struggled to make ends meet and suffered from mental illness too. She had strained relations with her son, which was reflected in his songs. She felt that her son was wrong in maligning her in his songs, so she released a three-song CD to put forth her point of view. She authored a book about her son along with two other financial advice books. She has famously sued her son for slandering her in his songs, and was herself sued for failing to share the promised sales profit percentage for one of her books. She has had several failed relationships and battled cancer, but has now made amends with her son and is living happily with her husband.

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  • After her husband, Marshall Mathers II left her and their baby son, Deborah took up low paying jobs to support herself and her young son, Marshall Mathers III (Eminem). The mother-son duo lived in poverty and constantly moved between Detroit and Kansas City. She is believed to have falsely accused many organizations in order to extract money from them. Eminem also later mentioned that his mother had never worked and they survived on the charity of social organizations. It was clear that her relations with her son were quite strained.
  • In the early 2000s, Eminem gained fame as a rapper and became a worldwide phenomenon. She tried to cash in on his fame, but he spoke very badly of her in his songs, accusing her of being a drug addict and using him and his stepbrother to earn money from charitable organizations. He continued to speak ill of her in interviews, once even stating that the cause of his drug issues was his mother. He said that his mother suffered from a mental illness, later diagnosed as Munchausen syndrome by proxy, where she would fake her own children’s sickness in order to gain sympathy and support from others.
  • In order to tell her side of the story, she released a three-song CD ‘Dear Marshall’ in 2001. In 2008, she wrote a book ‘My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem’ about her relationship with Eminem. Said to be one of the most controversial memoirs ever, this book also mentioned that Eminem told many lies about her to gain popularity. But she maintained that she was not angry with him. In 2004, she co-authored two books ‘Managing Cash Flow and Working Capital’ and ‘Funding Options for Business Growth’.
  • In 2008, she mentioned in an interview that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her issues with Eminem started straightening out thereafter and they have since then reconciled. In 2013, he even apologized to her in the form of a song ‘Headlights’. They now have a mutual love and respect for each other. She reportedly now runs a taxi service in her hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri.
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Controversies & Scandals
  • In 1999, Deborah filed a lawsuit against Eminem worth $10 million for slandering her in media interviews and in his songs. She claimed that most of the defamatory song lyrics were written by those working for him and all that he had said about her was a lie. But she only received only $1600 from the lawsuit and later stated that she only sued him to help stop the foreclosure of her house.
  • Around 2005, she was sued by Neal Alpert, who had helped her with her book about Eminem, on accusations that she had not paid him the promised 25% of sales profits from the book.
Family & Personal Life
  • Deborah R. Nelson-Mathers was born on January 6, 1955, in St. Joseph, Missouri, to Betty and Bob. Her parents were constantly fighting and eventually split while she was still very young. Her mother soon remarried, but her stepfather was abusive towards her, and her mother even tried to commit suicide several times.
  • She has two brothers, Steven, who had a stroke, and Todd, who is in prison for murdering his brother-in-law, and two step-siblings, Ronnie Pollinghorn, who committed suicide, and Betty Renee, who now works as Eminem’s housekeeper.
  • She met her future husband, Marshall Bruce II, at ‘Lancaster High School’, but dropped out and married him at 15 years of age. Her son, Marshal Mathers III, was born when she was 18 years old. But her husband left them when Eminem was just a baby. Thereafter, she married Berger Olsen Au Gres but the relationship ended due to her mental illness. Her relationship with Don DeMarc and marriage with Fred Samara Jr. also ended in a similar manner. She had a son with Samara named Nathan Kane, who is also a rapper.
  • After a few more failed relationships, she is now married to John Briggs, and has three grandchildren.

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Deborah R. Nelson-Mathers

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