Eminem gets probation for empty gun

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The Independent US

Eminem, the super-hyped rapper who would have it known that he is a threat to the morals of the world, must have thought his moment had come. Here was his chance to join the hallowed group of pop musicians who are simply so dangerous that prison is the only safe place for them.

Eminem, the super-hyped rapper who would have it known that he is a threat to the morals of the world, must have thought his moment had come. Here was his chance to join the hallowed group of pop musicians who are simply so dangerous that prison is the only safe place for them.

Having pleaded guilty to gun charges over an incident that took place in June last year, the star, who carries a chainsaw on stage, faced a prison sentence of up to five years. The scenario was perfect for a performer trying to establish his gangster credentials.

But a judge in Michigan ruined all of that when he sentenced the star to a paltry two years' probation. Worse still, it transpired that Eminem's gun was not even loaded. Judge Antonio Viviano said: "The defendant was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in an automobile. In this case the weapon was not loaded and there was no direct threat to human life."

Eminem, real name Marshall Mathers III, pleaded guilty in February this year to the charge as part of a deal with prosecutors, who agreed to drop a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon. He had been charged after an incident in which he hit a man he saw kissing his estranged wife, Kim.

At a court in Mount Clemens, Michigan, the judge also ordered that Eminem should pay $5,000 (£3,500) costs and have counselling as directed by the court.

The rapper, dressed in a blue-grey suit with a matching shirt and tie, did not speak, having been advised by lawyers that any comments could affect another pending action. His lawyer, Walter Piszcatowski, said: "He is a self-made man. He has overcome many obstacles and he has the ability to overcome this as a minor chink to his armour. He has gone through a lot in his life."

This week the rapper won the best national album and national single at the Detroit Music Awards for The Marshall Mathers LP and the single "The Real Slim Shady".

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