Dr. Dre is having a pretty good summer: His first album in 16 years -- and possibly his last album ever -- Compton debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts. The movie inspired by his life, Straight Outta Compton, is a hit at the box office, with an opening weekend haul of $60.2 billion.
But with his career renaissance come resurfaced allegations of abuse against women.
Now, for the first time, Dr. Dre (real name Andre Young) is owning up to his past and apologizing: “I apologize to the women I’ve hurt,” he said in a statement to The New York Times. “I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”
The controversy surrounding Straight Outta Compton has mainly centered on an incident between Dre and hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes, who once hosted a show called Pump It Up! In November 1990, Dre and Barnes were reportedly at the same party when, Barnes says, Dre attacked her over a segment on the show that he thought made N.W.A. look bad.
In a piece written for Gawker, Barnes says Dr. Dre attempted to throw her down a flight of stairs and slammed her head into a wall, for which she says she still suffers migraines.
“When Dre was trying to choke me on the floor of the women’s room in Po Na Na Souk, a thought flashed through my head: ‘Oh my god. He’s trying to kill me.’” She continues, “He had me trapped in that bathroom; he held the door closed with his leg. It was surreal. ‘Is this happening?’ I thought.”
When asked about it in a 1991 Rolling Stone interview, Dre said, "People talk all this sh*t, but you know, somebody f**ks with me, I'm gonna f**k with them. I just did it, you know.” He added, “Besides, ain't no big thing -- I just threw her through a door."
Straight Outta Compton does not address the alleged abuse against Barnes -- or R&B singer Michel’le or onetime labelmate Tairrie B, all interviewed in The New York Times piece -- as director F. Gary Gray has said the movie “wasn’t about a lot of side stories.”
Still, Dre, who acted as a co-producer on the film, has at least now finally addressed the incidents. “Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life,” he said. “However, none of this is an excuse for what I did.”
He doesn’t address each incident specifically or mention any of the women by name, but concludes, “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.”
Now, find out what Ice Cube had to say about his son playing him in the movie: