Dr. Dre has long been an industry mogul, but with the release of Straight Outta Compton and its accompanying album, Compton, Dre’s first in almost 17 years, there has been renewed speculation on his career and influence. As both the film and album have experienced huge success, most of the reflection has been positive, but past allegations of Dre’s assaults against women have also been brought back into the public eye, even though there was no indication of any violence against women in the film.
As the headlines around Dre have begun to deal more with these past charges and the specific women like Dee Barnes that were involved and less with the success of his creative endeavors, Dre has issued an official apology statement to The New York Times. Apple soon followed suit.
Dre said, “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,” said the Beats founder. “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.”
Apple, Dre’s current employer and the company to whom he sold Beats for $3 billion last year, also issued a statement, indicating that the company stands behind the belief that Dre is a changed man.
“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 his recent Rolling Stone cover story, Dre also spoke on accusations of past violence against women, saying he had “made some f*cking horrible mistakes.” Similarly, his New York Times apology doesn’t address any specific incident, though he does admit to doing irreparable damage to (multiple) women.
The most publicized assault Dre committed was was his brutal beating of hip-hop journalist and former collaborator Dee Barnes in a Los Angeles nightclub in 1991. The incident was apparently originally included in the script, but was cut out in order to give the film an appropriate runtime. The omission led critics to question filmmaker F. Gary Gray’s intentions and his role in rewriting N.W.A.’s history by excluding its darker aspects.
Barnes herself wrote an op-ed upon seeing the film in which she called Gray an “opportunist” who is guilty of creating a “revisionist history.” She also wrote about the ramifications of Dre’s assault, which still haunts her today.
R&B singer Michel’le, with whom Dre had a long-term relationship as well as a son, has also spoken out on Dre’s past abuse and how she wasn’t surprised at her absence from Straight Outta Compton.
(via Music Times)