"I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives"
With the recent release of NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton triggering renewed coverage of past incidents in which Dr Dre physically assaulted or allegedly physically assaulted women, the rapper-producer has issued a statement apologising to the victims of his abuse.
“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,” wrote Dre in the statement, which was released to The New York Times. “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.”
He added: “I apologise to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”
Apple, where Dre works as a top consultant (and the company that purchased Beats off him last year), also released a statement on the matter. “Dre has apologised 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.”
The statements comes on the back of an essay penned for Gawker by journalist Dee Barnes that discusses the 1991 incident in which Dre assaulted her at a record release party. Dre’s one-time girlfriend Michel’le has long accused the 50-year-old of physical abuse dating back to the 90s, while The New York Times also spoke to Tairrie B (real name Theresa Murphy), who said that Dre punched her twice in the face at a Grammys afterparty in 1990 after she recorded a track insulting him.
Speaking to Rolling Stone about his history of assaulting women, Dre said, “I made some fucking horrible mistakes in my life. I was young, fucking 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 fucked up. But I paid for those mistakes, and there’s no way in hell that I will ever make another mistake like that again.”
Straight Outta Compton has been criticised for ignoring these incidents, though it’s been recently revealed that an early draft of the screenplay included the attack on Barnes. Previously, the film’s director F Gary Gray explained the omissions: “There are so many things that you can add or subtract. Cube always said, ‘You can make five different NWA movies.’ We made the one we wanted to make.”