Straight Outta Compton has shattered records at the box office (the film made $56.1 million in its opening weekend), but despite the overwhelming reception, the N.W.A biopic has stirred controversy for glossing over a dark chapter in Dr. Dre’s past. The hip-hop mogul is finally speaking out on allegations that he physically abused women.
In a statement to The New York Times, Dre apologized to “the women I’ve hurt” and insists that he’s changed.
“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. 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 went on to discuss, albeit briefly, the abuse allegations—”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, where Dre now works as a top consultant, also issued a statement: “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.”
Additionally, The New York Times spoke to hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes and Michel’le, two women Dre allegedly attacked in the ’90s.
“I’ve been talking about my abuse for many, many years, but it has not gotten any ears until now,” said Michel’le, a former lover of Dre’s, who said that he gave her “black eyes, a cracked rib, and scars.”
“They brought up the past,” noted Barnes, who penned an open letter criticizing Straight Outta Compton. “Not me.”
Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times reported that an original draft of Compton included a scene of abuse against Barnes, but it never made the cut.