The biological father of Eminem's adopted daughter, Whitney, died on Thursday, Radar Online reports. Eric Hartter, who had a child with Eminem's ex-wife, Kim Scott, was reportedly found dead in an abandoned house in Detroit.
"A call was made by a family member who came by to check the location, and found the victim unresponsive with no signs of trauma," a Detroit Police Department spokesperson told Radar. "A medic pronounced him DOA on scene."
The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that Hartter, 40, died. Although his official cause and manner of death is pending, the outlet reports that he died of a suspected drug overdose. A source close to the family told the outlet that Hartter struggled for years with drug addiction and they believed he had recently been struggling with heroin abuse.
Hartter also struggled with legal issues, most recently in July when he was sentenced to 153 days in jail and 24 months of probation stemming from a felony arrest involving Fentanyl and methamphetamine, to which he pleaded guilty on March 13. However, Radar reports that with credit served, he was recently released.
Court documents show that on July 3, Hartter pleaded guilty to being a prisoner possessing contraband as a fourth time habitual offender. (He was already in jail at the time of his arrest for allegedly stealing about $200 worth of Red Bull from a CVS store in December 2018.)
Scott — Whitney's mother — has also spent time in and out of jail, as well as court-ordered rehab. In 2015, she was involved in a DUI crash that she later said was actually a suicide attempt. "I sat at the end of a road where I knew that no one else but myself would get hurt," she explained. "Yes, I drank, I took pills, and I hit the gas and aimed for the pole."
During her time away from home, Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, raised Whitney, 17, along with his and Scott's daughter, Hailie, 23. He also adopted Alaina, 25, the daughter of Scott's twin sister Dawn Scott, who died of a drug overdose in 2016. Eminem was married to Scott for 14 months from 1999 to 2000, and for 82 days in 2006. They started dating when Whitney was only 15.
Eminem has also struggled with addiction. Earlier this year, he celebrated 11 years of sobriety and has said in the past that his daughters and exercise helped him stay sober.0comments
"When I got out of rehab, I needed to lose weight, but I also needed to figure out a way to function sober," the rapper told Men's Journal in 2015. "Unless I was blitzed out of my mind, I had trouble sleeping. So I started running. It gave me a natural endorphin high, but it also helped me sleep, so it was perfect."
"It's easy to understand how people replace addiction with exercise," he continued. "One addiction for another but one that's good for them."