Published Aug 21, 2015Following criticism that N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton neglected to cover long-standing reports of Dr. Dre's physical abuse against women, the rapper/producer has issued a statement apologizing for the violent behaviour of his past.
Dr. Dre (a.k.a. Andre Young) released a statement today (August 21) through the New York Times that addresses concerns brought up since the release of the film, namely that he beat up a number of women while he was in N.W.A.
This includes Dee Barnes, a former TV host who was brutally assaulted by the rapper at a nightclub event in 1991 after Young reportedly took issue with a segment of Fox's Pump It Up! in which Ice Cube insulted his former group. Young is said to have slammed Barnes's head against a wall, thrown her down a flight of stairs, kicked her and stomped on her fingers. Barnes wrote about the incident and other allegations this week for Gawker, in a piece titled "Here's What's Missing from Straight Outta Compton: Me and the Other Women Dr. Dre Beat Up."
Though Dr. Dre doesn't address any specific incidences in his statement, he writes:
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. 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.
Representatives for Apple, who are partnered up with Dre's Beats enterprise and recently delivered his Compton LP as an Apple Music exclusive, have also issued a statement, which reads:
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.
In addition to the violence against Barnes, the Times story details the abuse of Dr. Dre's former girlfriend, R&B singer Michel'le, and onetime labelmate Tairrie B.
"I've been talking about my abuse for many, many years, but it has not gotten any ears until now," Michel'le told the New York Times, revealing that her relationship with Dre had left her with "black eyes, cracked ribs and scars."
Tairrie B (a.k.a. Theresa Murphy) said that Dr. Dre punched her in the face at a Grammy afterparty in 1990, after she had recorded a track that insulted the N.W.A. member. You can read more about the various cases of abuse over here.
The Dee Barnes attack had reportedly made it into an early treatment of Straight Outta Compton, with an old script revealing that the scene would have included a verbal confrontation about the Pump It Up! segment before Dre began "flinging [Barnes] around like a rag-doll, while she screams, cries, begs for him to stop."
It should be noted that the cameraman on the Pump It Up! segment was Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray.