Eminem’s Sister: What We Know About The Rapper’s Controversial Family
Award-winning rapper, songwriter and actor Eminem has a huge family. Technically an only child, he has some half-siblings that he doesn’t seem keen to meet. In fact, Eminem’s sister Sarah has never met her half-brother, although she has tried to many times.
Eminem’s Sister: Why Doesn’t He Want A Relationship With Her?
We’re looking at the iconic rapper’s life and family, from humble beginnings to super stardom and asking why he is avoiding his own family.
Saint Joseph, Missouri
Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III on 17th October 1972. He is the only child of Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr. and Deborah Rae “Debbie”.
Mathers has a fascinating heritage, coming from English, Scottish, German, German Swiss, Polish and Luxembourgian ancestry. Eminem’s parents were in a band called Daddy Warbucks before their separation.
Eminem’s father (a.k.a. Bruce) left the family and moved to California when the star was just 6 months old. During his childhood, Eminem and Debbie moved between Michigan and Missouri frequently. In fact, the pair rarely stayed in one house for more than a year or two.
Eminem’s Sister And Brothers
Bruce and his new wife in California had two children: Michael Mathers and Sarah Mathers. Eminem’s mum Debbie later had a son called Nathan “Nate” Kane Samara.
Eminem’s sister had no idea the famous rapper was her brother until 2005. Working as a waitress now, the then 23-year-old tried to get in touch with him. Her full biological brother Michael Mathers has also been involved in trying to contact their famous half-brother.
Eminem is very close to his little brother Nate, who he had custody of in their younger years.
Eminem started rapping with high-school friend Mike Ruby when they were 14. They adopted the names “Manix” and “M&M”, which stood for his initials and of course then became Eminem.
At the age of 16 he formed his first group called New Jacks. He went by MC Double M at this point (not quite as catchy!).
Eminem spent these early career days switching between different record labels and band names. He washed dishes to bring in money while he tried to establish himself as a music artist.
Rise To Fame
Mathers’ violent alter-ego was born in 1997, meaning Eminem could rap more about darker subjects such as drugs and violence. It was his way of expressing his difficult family life, especially his upbringing.
His eviction from his home in the same year sent him to L.A. to compete in the Rap Olympics, an annual nationwide rap battle competition. He sent the tape to the CEO, who shared it with a a certain Dr. Dre:
“In my entire career in the music industry, I have never found anything from a demo tape or a CD. When Jimmy played this, I said, ‘Find him. Now.'”
Eminem was nervous about working with the iconic record producer, but they collaborated well together. His first album The Slim Shady LP certified triple platinum by the end of the year.
In May 2000, Eminem released a new album called The Marshall Mathers LP. It sold 1.76 million copies in its first week. This broke the ‘fastest-selling hip hop album’ record held by Snoop Dogg at the time. The album also broke Britney Spears’ record for fastest-selling solo album at the time.
He performed with Elton John at the Grammy Awards in 2001. He went on to tour with other huge rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube. Furthermore, Mathers toured with Limp Bizkit and headlined the Anger Management tour with Papa Roach, Ludacris and Xzibit.
The Eminem Show
Mathers’ next album The Eminem Show was another huge hit, selling 30 million copies worldwide and became the best-selling album of 2002. Rolling Stone, the unofficial authority on all things music, had this to say:
“With The Eminem Show, Eminem just may have made the best rap-rock album in history… The Eminem Show has the self-assurance of an artist at the top of his game and the game, the understanding that the music world is hanging on his every word and the willingness to shock even the most jaded ears.”
Laced with profanities, similar to his first album, Eminem again very much focused on his family life and upbringing. Many noted its more mature tone and better understanding of racial tensions surrounding the hip hop industry.
Eminem’s Sister: What Do We Know?
So what OF this mysterious family? Sarah Mathers was born in 1982, sharing the same father as Eminem. Mathers had no idea that the global music star was a close relation until 2005. Eminem’s sister was attending a family BBQ and Eminem was playing on the TV:
“I’d known all my life that I had another brother, but Eminem? They’d got to be kidding. I giggled at the thought of it, then went back to join the rest of my family… But when my dad saw the resemblance between the two men (Eminem and half-brother Michael), he didn’t brush it off. He phoned his great-aunt Edna, who’d helped look after Dad’s oldest son before he split from his ex-wife, and she told him it was Marshall Mathers. Eminem was my brother.”
Eminem’s sister then tried her hardest to get in contact with her older brother, hoping to meet him one day. She wrote him letters but received no response. Furthermore, she and brother Michael went to one of his concerts to try and meet him. Sadly, their attempt was unsuccessful. They managed to get backstage and both claim that Eminem saw them both but made no effort to approach or communicate with them.
Sarah Mathers works as a waitress in California now. There is no news yet on whether Eminem’s sister has managed to successfully get any kind of reply from her famous half-brother.
Controversies: Eminem’s Sister-In-Law And Secret Service Run-In
As we’ve hinted at already in this article, Eminem’s sister and brother are not the only complicated relations he has. His childhood home life was pretty unstable, often fighting with his mother Debbie. The future rapper worked several jobs to help his mother pay the bills, later saying that she often threw him out of the house anyway.
Furthermore, the rapper has said his mother would take most of his paycheck before throwing him out. When she left to play bingo, he would blast the stereo and write songs.
Father & Birth Of Sarah Mathers
His dad, Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr, abandoned Debbie and Eminem when the future star was just six months old. Bruce and Debbie married when Debbie was just 15 and he was around 22. Eminem has often sung about his dad’s abandonment and talked about it in an interview with Rolling Stone back in 2004:
“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, never got anything from him and I think he could have at least tried to write. He could have done something – made an effort.”
After leaving young Marshall and Kim, Bruce started a new family and fathered Eminem’s half-siblings Sarah Mathers and Michael Mathers.
Bruce said back in 2001 that he HAD attempted to make contact with his son and ex-wife Debbie, however he couldn’t because of the pair constantly moving.
Sadly, we’ll never know the full story, as Bruce died in June of this year at the age of 67.
Eminem Twin Sister Family Addition
They welcomed 15-year-old runaways Kim and twin sister Dawn into their home in 1987. Eminem later had a an on-off relationship with Kim for several years and married her twice. They are still in contact now but are no longer married.
Dawn Scott, Eminem’s ex-sister-in-law and former housemate, died from a heroin overdose back in 2016. Just four months before, Dawn revealed her struggle to beat her drug addiction and that Eminem and Kim offered no help. She had been homeless since 2014:
“‘One night I called my sister and told her I had nowhere to go’ Scott told Radar in August. She said, ‘That’s not my problem. Don’t bother me,’ and hung up.'”
Eminem had adopted his ex-wife’s twin sister’s daughter along with Kim, but had nothing to offer the troubled woman.
It’s not only Eminem sister that has been the reason for controversy. His lyrics gain a great deal of concern, mostly due to their often misogynistic and violent style.
He often says his work is representative of his unstable upbringing and other difficult times in his life. However, some subjects of his songs including disposing of his wife’s dead body and encouraging a man to kill his wife and lover. Furthermore, he penned a song from the perspective of a deranged fan who kills himself and his pregnant girlfriend.
Not the nicest subjects to be tackling, that’s for sure!
Eminem performed with Elton John at the 43rd Grammy Awards ceremony in 2001 with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD, an organization which considered Eminem’s lyrics homophobic) condemning John’s decision to perform with the rapper. Entertainment Weekly placed the appearance on its end-of-decade “best-of” list:
“It was the hug heard ’round the world. Eminem, under fire for homophobic lyrics, shared the stage with a gay icon for a performance of “Stan” that would have been memorable in any context.”
Eminem doesn’t hold back when he’s got beef with other celebs, having ripped into famous names from Lindsay Lohan to Britney Spears. Pamela Anderson to both Khloe and Kim Kardashian. We won’t repeat the lyrics here, but rest assured they are pretty vulgar to say the least!
The US Secret Service allegedly investigated the rapper in 2003 for threatening to kill then-president George W Bush Jr. While he stated in song lyrics about killing presidents, nothing came of the allegation.
More recently, he has continued to write controversial music, referring to President Donald Trump as a b**** back in 2017.
On a lighter note, Eminem has enjoyed some pretty big collaborations, especially in the past couple of years. These include 50 Cent, Pink, Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé.
Eminem re-released of The Slim Shady LP (with bonus content) on February 23 2019, to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
He married Kim Scott twice. Firstly, in 1999 and then divorced in 2001. Eminem and Kim briefly remarried in January 2006, but divorced just 4 months later!
He filed for divorce in early April, agreeing to joint custody of Hailie. In early 2010, Eminem denied tabloid reports that he and Kim had renewed their romantic relationship.
The star has been followed by plenty of rumours surrounding his and Kim’s relationship, however. Kim’s mother Kathleen has been outspoken about her hopes for the couple:
“We see him all the time. I think they might get back together. They get on better than ever.”
Eminem Sister-In-Law & Wife
Kim has also struggled with drug addiction in the past and is quite vocal about her and Eminem’s troubled past relationship. The rapper’s ex has spent a great deal of time in prison and court-ordered rehab, meaning Eminem took on custody of both their daughter Hailie and Kim’s daughter from another relationship, Whitney.
A few years ago, the pair attended daughter Hailie’s crowning as homecoming queen together. In 2017, Eminem released the song ‘Bad Husband’, where he appears to apologise to Kim for treating her badly:
“We’re runnin’ right back, here we go again
It’s so insane, ‘cause when it’s goin’ good it’s goin’ great
I’m Superman with the wind at his back, she’s Lois Lane
But when it’s bad it’s awful, I feel so ashamed”
One thing’s for sure, whatever happens between these two, safe to say it’s not a quiet and gentle relationship!
Children: Biological, Adopted & Eminem’s Sister-In-Law’s Children
Eminem and Kim’s daughter Hailie Jade was born on December 25, 1995. Eminem’s sister-in-law’s daughter Alaina and Whitney (Kim’s daughter from another relationship) are also in his custody.
The brutally honest rapper has spoken publicly about his addiction to prescription drugs, including Vicodin, Ambien and Valium.
During the production of 8 Mile, where he both acted and performed much of the soundtrack, Eminem worked 16 hours a day and developed insomnia. An associate gave him an Ambien tablet which helped him sleep, encouraging him to obtain a prescription.
This was Eminem’s first experience of drug addiction, which would affect him for several years. Eminem began taking the drugs to ‘feel normal’, taking a:
“ridiculous amount… I could consume anywhere from 40 to 60 Valium [in a day]. Vicodin, maybe 30”.
The drugs would put him to sleep for no more than two hours, after which he would take more. Eminem’s weight increased and he was regularly eating fast food. Eminem became less recognisable due to his weight gain and once overheard two teenagers arguing about whether or not it was actually him.
Sadly much like Eminem’s tragic sister in law, drugs took over his life. In December 2007, Eminem was hospitalised after a methadone overdose. The rapper first bought from a dealer who told him it was like Vicodin but easier on the liver.
He continued to buy more until he collapsed in his bathroom one night and ended up in hospital. He said of the incident:
“The doctors told me I’d done the equivalent of four bags of heroin. They said I was about two hours from dying.”
After missing Christmas with his children, Eminem checked himself out of the facility weak and not fully detoxed. He tore the meniscus in his knee after falling asleep on his sofa, requiring surgery. Then, after he returned home, he had a seizure. His drug use grew right back up within a month.
Eminem began to attend church meetings to get clean, but after he was asked for autographs, he sought help from a rehabilitation counsellor. He began an exercise program which emphasised running.
Elton John was a mentor during this period, calling Eminem once a week to check on him.
On April 20, 2019, Eminem announced the date marked him as 11 years sober. An amazing achievement!
Eminem Sister: What’s The Problem?
So we’ve learned that Eminem’s sister both exists and is really keen to meet her long-lost half-brother. As Eminem refuses to comment on the issue, we’re left to try and figure out exactly why he wants nothing to do with Sarah.
Perhaps the rapper thinks his sister just wants to use him for money? Maybe Sarah is a reminder of a family he would rather forget?
Either way, it seems pretty clear that Eminem’s sister won’t be getting her desired reunion any time soon!
If you’re interested in more famous celebrity siblings, check out out article on Frankie Sims: What We Know About Chloe and Demi Sims’ Sister!