A number of women have surfaced old allegations against Dre after the success of Straight Outta Compton

By Alex Heigl
Updated August 21, 2015 05:10 PM
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Dr. Dre
| Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

While Straight Outta Compton has been a runaway success at the box office, the film has come under fire from some who allege that it glosses over N.W.A.’s misogyny, musically and otherwise, and in particular, Dr. Dre’s physical abuse of women.

Friday, Dre, 50, issued a statement to The New York Times that, while failing to address specific accusations, reads:

“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.”

Straight Outta Compton Obliterates the Weekend Box Office

Apple, for which Dre works as a consultant, provided a separate 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.”

At the center of the allegations: hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes , Michel’le (an R&B singer and former paramour of Dre’s who has an adult son with him), and Tairrie B, who once shared a label with the rapper.

“I’ve been talking about my abuse for many, many years, but it has not gotten any ears until now,” Michel’le told the Times.

Michel’le alleges that Dre was often physically abusive during their relationship. Tairrie alleges that he attacked her at a Grammys after-party in 1990 in response to a diss track the singer released. Barnes is the most famous of the accusers: Dre was charged with assault and battery after he attacked her at a party in 1991.

The Barnes incident in particular is a well-known piece of hip-hope lore: Eminem referenced it in his 1999 song “Guilty Conscience,” rapping, “You gonna take advice from somebody who slapped Dee Barnes?”