EMINEM was devastated last night after the uncle who he regarded as his dad committed suicide:
Todd Nelson shot himself in the head as he sat in his car. He had become depressed over a sheriff’s rottweiler which was allegedly terrorising his family.
The 42-year-old helped raise Eminem, whose real father walked out when the rapper was a baby.
It is the second close relative the 32-year-old controversial star – real name Marshall Mathers III – has lost to suicide.
His other uncle, Ronnie, killed himself after being dumped by his girlfriend.
A family friend said: “This news has hit Marshall hard. It will bring back all the memories of losing Ronnie.
“To lose two uncles at such a young age is terribly sad, especially as his father has never been around. The fact they both committed suicide is so tragic.”
Eminem’s granny, Betty Kresin, said the family was “completely devastated”. She added: “I’m so heart-broken, I don’t know if I can handle this as well. He’ll be buried next to my Ronnie.
“Todd had been very upset about a rottweiler owned by a local sheriff who was causing problems for his family.
“The dog scared his girlfriend’s son and scratched his car.
“But when he complained to police, they wouldn’t do anything about it.
“He shot himself in his car in his own backyard. My grandson, Todd junior, found his body. He thought his dad was asleep but he was dead.
“He called me and then Marshall and the rest of the family.”
Betty said her daughter, Debbie, Eminem’s mum, rang the star to tell him they are to bring Todd’s body home to St Joseph, Missouri, following his death in Michigan.
It is the latest family tragedy to strike Eminem.
His ex-wife, Kim, tried to kill herself four years ago. And mum Debbie, 48, who he once called a slut in a song, is recovering from breast cancer.
His tormented family life has inspired many of his songs. He recently fell out with Todd over his uncle’s plans to sell the family home. But when he was younger, he idolised Todd.
In the past, his uncle said Eminem had been “a shy kid with few friends”.
He added: “Marshall grew up believing he was different to everyone else. It was something instilled in him from an early age by Debbie, me and his grandmother.
“Marshall was a happy kid. He was good at entertaining himself and he laughed a lot.
“I remember one time I walked into his room and saw all these posters of black superstars on his walls. Basketball stars, baseball players, rappers. He would spend hours drawing groups such as Public Enemy and NWA. Even as a kid, he idolised Dr Dre.
“At the time I thought he was going through some kind of identity crisis. But I guess he just knew from an early age.
“Everything Marshall has achieved professionally is wonderful. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”