FEARS are growing for Eminem while he secretly mourns the death of the woman he called his “real mother”.
Weight has fallen off the Slim Shady rap star, who is devastated by the death of his great aunt Edna Swartz.
She became like an adoptive parent to him during his troubled childhood.
Eminem, 37, back in the charts with the album Recovery and the single Not Afraid, was so attached to 96-year-old Edna he even wrote songs in her honour.
He often paid secret visits to her in his home town of St Joseph, Missouri.
And in recent years he also paid for the former bookstore worker to have round-the-clock, expert care by a team of highly-paid nurses.
The rapper’s grandmother, Betty Kresin, says he began to cling on tighter to Edna at the same time as he pushed away his biological mom Debbie Nelson.
And Kresin thinks Edna’s death in May is one reason the star – real name Marshall Mathers III – is looking so pale and gaunt.
She said: “He came to see her as being like his real mother. He was totally devastated when Edna died.
“Marshall was always sneaking into St Joseph to visit Edna at her house on South 12th Street without telling anyone. And when she got older he paid for her to have care from a whole bunch of experts.
“He even wrote a song a few years ago about how Edna and her husband Charles were the ones that raised him. His real mother Debbie was upset when she heard that.
“When Marshall was a young boy, he would be dropped off at Edna’s house from time to time by Debbie.
“But for him to say that she raised him is totally wrong. I don’t know why he feels that way.”
Kresin, an office worker in her 60s, who lives in St Joseph, said Eminem decided against
attending Edna’s funeral last month, fearing his appearance would cause publicity.
Instead, he organised his own private service.
His absence was a crushing blow to his mom Debbie, who is herself seriously ill after open-heart surgery and a long battle with cancer.
After turning his back on his mother, who he claimed was a pill-popping alcoholic, it was Edna who the rapper turned to for love and attention.
Eminem’s father Marshall Mathers Jr. abandoned the family when he was an infant.
Kresin added: “It’s sad to say but I don’t think Marshall wants to have any family any more. With Edna dying, he probably thinks that there is no one else left.”