The recent theatrical release of “Straight Outta Compton,” the film detailing Hip-Hop group N.W.A.’s rise to fame, brought to light decades-old accusations that group member Dr. Dre had physically abused women. Dr. Dre, and Apple, the company Dre is now an employee of, made statements today addressing the controversy.
Dr. Dre made a statement on Friday to The New York Times apologizing 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. 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.”
Dr. Dre became a member of the Apple family last year, when the companies he co-founded with music producer Jimmy Iovine -Beats Electronics and Beats Music – were both acquired by the Cupertino firm.
Apple also addressed the controversy, also making a statement to The New York Times:
“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.”
Dr. Dre is the latest celebrity who has been forced to face his previous actions, some decades old, due to pressure brought on, both on and off the Internet.
The women at the center of the allegations — hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes; R&B singer, and former Dre girlfriend Michel’le; and one time label mate Tairrie B — spoke to The Times about the abuse they received and about how social media had helped them to both connect, and tell their stories.
Michel’le, who was romantically involved with Dr. Dre from the late-’80s until the mid-’90s, and has an adult son with Dre, discussed her time with the artist, saying he was physically abusive, hitting her and leaving “black eyes, a cracked rib and scars.” She says she never pressed charges against him because, “We don’t get that kind of education in my culture.”
The New York Times piece goes into more depth than we can cover here, and makes for recommended reading,