The Daddy Shady Show

Upstanding Suburban Citizen Eminem Sets the Fatherhood Standard

So when you're born a pauper to a pawn on a Christmas Day, and then suddenly your daddy's not a pawn and you're not a pauper anymore, do you get more presents on your birthday, or less, or what? Hard to say, but Hailie Jade Mathers, who turns seven December 25, already has a whole Toys "R" Us worth of stuff, not to mention an indoor pool to swim in (at least that's what her great-grandma, Betty Kresin of St. Joseph, Missouri, who hereby wishes Hailie happy birthday and Hailie's dad Merry Christmas, says), so she'll probably do OK. Word is that her daddy maybe spoils her a little, and why not?

"If Hailie wanted a hamburger at one o'clock in the morning, he'd go get it," Great-Grandma Kresin says. "If Hailie wanted to go to a movie, Marshall (her dad, born in St. Joseph himself) goes with her; he doesn't have a nanny do it. They just have to sneak in through the service door." He even has her name and picture tattooed near his right shoulder.

"He lets her play with the neighbors, and has cookouts," Kresin continues. "He loves children. I think if he had his way, he'd have a lot of children. He always wanted to have a family." As a matter of fact, she says, Hailie's dad has also been taking care of another little girl lately. "Marshall adopted one of Kim's sister's kids," Kresin explains.

illustration: Steve Rude

Kimberley Anne Scott is Hailie's mom; her relationship with Marshall has been a little rocky, seeing as how he pulled an unloaded gun on her once when he caught her playing tonsil hockey with some doofus ex-nightclub bouncer. Plus he has this habit of enlisting Hailie to help him record hilarious and obnoxious and highly moving songs where he murders Kim and stuff, but the couple seem to be back together now. "I think it's for Hailie," says Kresin, who won't absolutely confirm that the pair have reunited. Kim's sister's daughter is two years older than Hailie, Kresin explains. So is the adoption legally binding? "She's got his last name," Kresin answers. "What would you call it?"

Marshall and Kim and Hailie and Hailie's cousin—plus Marshall's aunt Betty and uncle Jack, who help out with child care—are all said to live together in a great big house in Clinton Township, Michigan, a lovely suburb situated around three branches of the Clinton River. Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker live in town, too, as do about 95,600 other people, according to the 2000 Census. (92.8 percent of them are white; 4.7 percent are black.) Marshall, who is just 30 years old (and contrary to his previous predictions isn't yet in the nursing home pinchin' nurses' asses while jackin' off with Jergens), reportedly paid more than a million and a half for the mansion.

It's part of a gated yuppie community called Manchester Estates; the subdivision is located near Cass Avenue (named for onetime slave-owning Michigan governor Lewis Cass), more or less in between 18 and 19 Mile roads—i.e., about 10 miles north of where Marshall grew up. The title song from his new movie goes like this: "I'm free as a bird/And I turn and cross over the median curb/Hit the burbs and all you see is a blur."

He moved from his last house because the city of Sterling Heights wouldn't let him build a 12-foot fence to keep kids from littering his lawn with M&M wrappers. But Manchester Estates is working out better. Marshall's neighbors like him a lot. "I personally have dealt with Marshall. I know Marshall. We live right next door, so we see him all the time," says Cathy Roberts. "He is a wonderful performer, he is a wonderful father, he is an awesome neighbor—you can imagine—and he is a great person."

"He's normal, down-to-earth, and puts his pants on the same way everyone else does," Roberts continues. "A very, very good father."

"Couldn't ask for a better neighbor, that's all," agrees Mary Russo, who has grandkids. "He's been really good around here. Sorry, I know you guys don't want to hear that."

"He's introduced himself to my husband and we see him around the neighborhood trick-or-treating. He always waves when he goes by. They're real friendly," says yet another neighbor. "He plays with his little girl. He never lets her out by herself. He scooters around the block with her on her bike. Now he's teaching her to ride her bike without training wheels."

At Halloween, according to the Detroit News, Marshall's lawn was decorated with haystacks, yellow chrysanthemums, and three smiling scarecrows. Neighborhood kids come over and shoot hoops with him.

But at the center of his universe, there's his little girl, who likes watching The Powerpuff Girls with her dad and jumping on the trampoline. She started making friends in town not too long ago, thus reportedly squelching any plans the family might have had to move to California. Pretty much every afternoon when Marshall's not on tour, he heads over to the school where Hailie attends first grade, and brings her back home. (Word is that Marshall's leasing a Benz, but foreign cars in Metro Detroit are ill-advised, of course. Around town, he opts for Fords.) Though Hailie's dad could no doubt afford to send her to Cranbrook, he makes fun of the famous Bloomfield Hills private school toward the end of his movie; no hypocrite, he sends her to a public elementary—albeit one located at the end of a quiet, secure, secluded little street, where paparazzi or stalkers or anyone else out of the ordinary would stick out.

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