As Dr. Dre moved back into the limelight this month with Straight Out of Compton and its companion album — which doubled as Dr. Dre’s first record in 16 years — so did old claims of abuse against the rapper. On Friday, Dr. Dre released an exclusive statement to the New York Times apologizing for his past behavior.
“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,” Dr. Dre, now 50, said. “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.”
The statement comes on the heels of Denise “Dee” Barnes’ Gawker essay, “Here’s What’s Missing From Straight Outta Compton: Me and thee Other Women Dr. Dre Beat Up.” In the piece, Barnes — who hosted the hip-hop television show Pump It Up in 1989 — details her January 1991 assault at the hands of Dr. Dre, who was upset because of an interview Barnes had conducted with Ice Cube.
“People talk all this sh–, but you know, somebody f—s with me, I’m gonna f— with them,” Dre said to Rolling Stone in 1991 about the incident. “I just did it, you know. Ain’t nothing you can do now by talking about it. Besides, it ain’t no big thing — I just threw her through a door.” (The rapper, whose real name is Andre Young, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery in connection with the attack in 1991.)
Over the years, the other members of N.W.A — which includes Ice Cube, Eazy-E, DJ Yella, and MC Ren — have spoken generally about the Barnes charges. Most recently Dre admitted to Rolling Stone, “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.”
Since the release of Straight Outta Compton, a runaway box office success, other critics have also pointed out that the film glosses over claims against Dre. R&B singer Michel’le, who dated Dre beginning in the late 1980s through the mid-’90s, and Tairrie B, a former labelmate of the rap mogul, have both spoken out about their alleged abuse.
“I’ve been talking about my abuse for many, many years, but it has not gotten any ears until now,” said Michel’le to the Times.
For the full report, head to the Times.
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