Rapper Eminem, who has the #1 album in the country, now has a total of four criminal charges against him and is faced with the prospect of a civil lawsuit.
On Thursday (June 8), prosecutors in Royal Oak, Mich., charged the rapper with carrying a concealed weapon, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, and with brandishing a firearm, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail. He had also been arraigned Wednesday on separate weapons charges.
Eminem (born Marshall Mathers) was arraigned on the new charges at 2 p.m. EDT in 44th District Court in Royal Oak, a suburb north of Detroit. He is free on $10,000 bond, according to a court clerk.
The new charges stem from an incident that began around 5:45 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Mickey Schorr car audio in Royal Oak. Dennis Dail, 21, who claimed to be an associate of rival Detroit rap act Insane Clown Posse, allegedly began calling Eminem names, Oakland County Chief Deputy Prosecutor John O'Brien said.
When Eminem, 27, got out of his car, a gun tucked in his waistband slid down his pants leg and onto the ground. Witnesses told police investigators that Eminem picked up the gun and began arguing with Dail, O'Brien said.
Dail backed off, and Eminem continued shouting at him, holding the gun pointed at the ground, according to O'Brien. Eminem did not have a permit to carry the weapon, though he applied for a gun-carrying permit in October, O'Brien said.
In order to receive the permit, the rapper was supposed to attend a gun-safety course. O'Brien said it was his understanding that Eminem was scheduled to begin the course in nearby Macomb County on Thursday, but that he had not done so because of the pending Oakland County arraignment.
Eminem dissed Insane Clown Posse on the song "Marshall Mathers" from his new album. In it, he makes fun of the group's penchant for Faygo, a Detroit-area-brewed soft drink, and accuses them of not being true Detroiters:
"Plus I was put here to put fear/ In faggots who spray Faygo root beer/ And call themselves clowns cuz they look queer/ Faggy 2 Dope and Silent Gay/ Claimin' Detroit, when y'all live 20 miles away."
Insane Clown Posse's label publicist had no comment and said she was not familiar with Dail.
After a separate incident outside of Hot Rocks Café in Warren, Mich., early Sunday, Eminem was arraigned Wednesday in 37th District Court in Warren on one count of carrying a concealed weapon and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon. The rapper allegedly came after John Guerra, whom he said he saw kissing his wife, pointed a gun and yelled, "I'm going to kill you!" The gun was not loaded, according to Macomb County Prosecutor Carl Marlinga.
He was released after he posted bond Wednesday.
37th District Court Judge Susan Chrzanowski ordered Eminem to surrender to police any firearms or guns he may have in his 4,384-square-foot home in Sterling Heights, Mich., an affluent suburb northeast of Detroit. The judge also demanded that he supply police and prosecutors with an itinerary of his upcoming tour, as well as notify them of where he is staying while out of the state.
John J. Gaber, Guerra's Clinton Township, Mich., lawyer, said Thursday that he would file a lawsuit in Macomb County Circuit Court on behalf of his client. The suit alleges that Eminem struck Guerra with a gun three or four times in the face and head and that he then pointed the gun at Guerra's face "from a distance of no more than 6 to 7 inches," Gaber said.
"That's when my client was thinking he was going to die and that he'd never see his children again," Gaber said.
At that point, Gaber said, Guerra grabbed for the gun and a scuffle ensued between him and the rapper.
Gaber said that Guerra claims to have met Eminem for the first time in a brief encounter three or four weeks ago and that Guerra was a Hot Rocks regular.
"Physically, he's healing," Gaber said. "But emotionally it's been a terrifying experience."
Howard Hertz, Eminem's Bloomfield Hills, Mich., attorney, could not be reached for comment.