Dr. Dre is finally apologizing to the women he physically abused and assaulted. Throughout the '80s and '90s, multiple women — most notable, ex-girlfriend Michel'le and journalist Dee Barnes — have spoken out about the physical abuse they endured at his hands. Dr. Dre has mostly been dismissive about the incidents, saying it "ain't no big thing" back in 1991, and most recently telling Rolling Stone that they were the actions of someone "young [and] fucking stupid." With the release of the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, Barnes has been speaking out. She called the film "revisionist history" for expunging Dre's violent past from the narrative.
The whitewashing has become one of the primary talking points surrounding the film. In a sure sign that some publicist got through to him, Dre made an about-face in a statement to the New York Times:
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.
Dre has a lot more to lose now as a businessman. He released his first album in 16 years with Compton, and sold his company Beats to Apple for $3 billion. Apple, for its part, released a coordinated statement of support:
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.