Eminem’s trademark dispute with Real Housewives of Potomac stars Gizelle Bryant and Robyn Dixon over their “Reasonably Shady” podcast (and other ventures) has descended into a back-and-forth over whether the rapper should have to sit for a deposition.
Earlier this month, Bryant and Dixon filed a motion trying to compel Eminem (real name Marshall Mathers) to sit for a deposition, which the rapper promptly rebuffed in a Dec. 15 filing (first reported by AllHipHop). Mathers’ lawyer also sought to secure a protective order “precluding the deposition” of the rapper.
Mathers argued others in his orbit would be willing and better suited to sit for depositions, “having equal and superior knowledge to Mathers on the relevant topics.” Those included Mathers’ longtime manager and business partner, Paul Rosenberg; Eric Hahn of the digital marketing agency Fame House (which is a subsidiary of Universal Music Group); and Stuart Parr, who’s long handled licensing for Eminem.
A lawyer for Bryant and Dixon, however, remained insistent that Mathers himself should sit in a Dec. 20 filing. It argued that Mathers’ “state of mind and his belief as to reputation are central to claims regarding dilution.” The motion later argued Bryant and Dixon “should be afforded the right to actually question the actual party who filed the Notice of Opposition, and whose reputation is allegedly harmed by the Applicants’ mark.”
Bryant and Dixon’s lawyer also claimed that deposing the other people Mathers suggested could lead to dead ends in questioning. For instance, Bryant and Dixon’s lawyer asked those other parties about Mathers’ “reasoning for choosing and using the trademarks at issue,” they could “be objected to and held as hearsay,” denying the pair the opportunity to “obtain relevant information” that could’ve been more readily obtained by deposing Mathers.
Mathers’ lawyer, however, stuck by their arguments that others, like Rosenberg, are suitable to sit for depositions in a motion filed on Dec. 22. As of today, Dec. 28, that was the last motion filed in the ongoing squabble.
The trademark dispute between Eminem and the two Housewives stars kicked off back in February when Mathers filed his objection to the “Reasonably Shady” trademark application (the application itself was submitted in Feb. 2022). Bryant and Dixon have long hosted a podcast called Reasonably Shady and were aiming to secure a mark for the brand that would cover merchandise and other “entertainment services.” Mathers, who has owned marks for both “Slim Shady” and “Shady” for the past two decades, opposed the application, saying he “believes he will be damaged” if Bryant and Dixon get their mark.