Dr. Dre Apologizes "to the Women I've Hurt"
The rapper-turned-music-mogul addressed allegations, newly revived in the wake of 'Straight Outta Compton,' that he physically abused women.
Amid renewed uproar over allegations that he physically abused women, Dr. Dre issued a statement expressing remorse for his actions.
"Twenty five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did," Dre told the New York Times. "I’ve been married for 19 years and every day I’m working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I’m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again. I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”
Claims by hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes and former R&B singer Michel'le, who was once the hip-hop star's fiancee, that Dre assaulted them have received increased attention since the release of the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, which doesn't include such incidents, leading Michel'le and Barnes to speak out about the movie omitting what they said happened to them.
Apple, where Dre works as a consultant after selling his Beats company to the tech giant, also issued the following statement: “Dre has apologized for the mistakes he’s made in the past and he’s said that he’s not the same person that he was 25 years ago. We believe his sincerity and after working with him for a year and a half, we have every reason to believe that he has changed.”
Michel'le told VladTV she has accepted that his allegedly abusive behavior during the six years they were together, which they've both openly acknowledged, isn't in Compton.
"Why would Dre put me in it? If they start from where they start from," she said, "I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat up and told to sit down and shut up."
She also recently recounted his alleged abuse, telling morning show The Breakfast Club, "When he gave me my very first black eye, we laid in the bed and cried. He was crying and I was crying because I was in shock, hurt and in pain. I don’t know why he was crying, but he said 'I’m really sorry.' That was the only time he ever said he was really sorry. And he said, 'I’ll never hit you in that eye again, okay?'"
Barnes, meanwhile, penned an essay for Gawker in which she reflected on a 1991 record-release party where Dre allegedly tried to throw her down a flight of stairs, choked her and pinned her to the floor of the women's bathroom with his knee on her chest. Barnes settled out of court with Dre, who pled no contest to assault and served two years probation. Barnes said she doesn't think the incident should have been in Compton.
"The truth is too ugly for a general audience," she wrote. "I didn’t want to see a depiction of me getting beat up, just like I didn’t want to see a depiction of Dre beating up Michel’le. ... But what should have been addressed is that it occurred."
Barnes says the film should have addressed the other women Dre has been accused of assaulting, including Tairrie B., whom he allegedly attacked at a 1990 Grammy party.
"In his lyrics, Dre made hyperbolic claims about all these heinous things he did to women," Barnes wrote. "But then he went out and actually violated women. Straight Outta Compton would have you believe that he didn’t really do that. It doesn’t add up."
Dre's remarks echo his comments to Rolling Stone in its Straight Outta Compton cover story, telling the magazine, "I made some f—ing horrible mistakes in my life. I was young, f—ing stupid. I would say all the allegations aren't true — some of them are. Those are some of the things that I would like to take back. It was really f—ed up. But I paid for those mistakes, and there's no way in hell that I will ever make another mistake like that again."
Compton director F. Gary Gray also addressed the omission of Barnes' story during a panel discussion this month. Gray said that the scene appeared in an early script but he ultimately cut it, arguing that the movie "wasn’t about a lot of side stories.” “You can make five different N.W.A. movies — we made the one we wanted to make," he said.
Barnes, Michel'le and Tairrie B. tell The Times they connected with each other through social media. Tairrie B. tells The Times that she "stood up to [Dre], and [she] didn't back down" as he threatened her and then she claims he punched her in the mouth and the eye. She didn't file a police report and says she was told in a meeting the next day with Eazy-E and N.W.A manager Jerry Heller, "‘This is a family business — you’re not pressing charges."