While the box office success of N.W.A's "Straight Outta Compton" biopic dominated headlines to kick off the week, the narrative began to change when veteran hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes wrote a chilling essay for Gawker, detailing her assault at the hands of by Dr. Dre back in 1991.
Barnes expressed disbelief that the incident had been wiped clean from the movie, and now Dr. Dre has issued a full apology.
“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," Dre said in a statement to The New York Times on Friday, August 21.
"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.”
The music mogul, who recently inked a billion dollar deal with Apple, has marginally addressed (and sometimes dismissed) the assault in the past, but it seems like he wasn't able to ignore the conversation about misogyny that Barnes' essay spurred this week.
“I apologize to the women I’ve hurt," he added. "I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”
Apple even stepped in and addressed the matter. “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," the company said in a statement. "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.”
Dee Barnes wasn't the only woman who was reportedly assaulted by Dr. Dre.
THe producer's ex-girlfriend, R&B singer Michel’le, told The Times that she was ignored for a long time (“I’ve been talking about my abuse for many, many years, but it has not gotten any ears until now"), and they pointed out that Dre's former labelmate Tairrie B -- who he assaulted at a Grammys party in 1990 -- reached out to Barnes recently, to connect, share their stories and attempt to heal.
The film's director, F. Gary Gray, admitted that Dee Barnes' assault was previously written into the script -- you can read the exchange between Barnes and Dr. Dre here -- but ultimately, the film “wasn’t about a lot of side stories.”