In 1990, journalist Dee Barnes was physically assaulted by Dr. Dre after the rapper approached her about an interview she did with Ice Cube in which Dre felt he was bad-mouthed by Cube.
Barnes recalled the incident in a Rolling Stone article from August of 1991, telling the reporter that “Dre picked her up” and “began slamming her face and the right side of her body repeatedly against a wall near the stairway.” Barnes went on to say that Dre repeatedly kicked her in the ribs and punched her in the head.
Barnes eventually sued Dre for $22 million and wrote about the incident in 2015, right before Straight Outta Compton premiered. Barnes not only recounted her incident in the Gawker article but also told of countless other women who were beaten by Dre.
Shortly after Barnes’ article, Dre issued an apology for his actions, but many people, including his ex, singer Michel’le, saw it as a publicity stunt for his film. Said Dre:
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. ... 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.
And in the recent airing of HBO’s The Defiant Ones, Dre spoke about the “dark cloud that follows me.”
“Any man who puts his hands on a female is a fucking idiot. He’s out of his fucking mind, and I was out of my fucking mind at the time. I fucked up, I paid for it, I’m sorry for it, and I apologize for it,” he said. “I have this dark cloud that follows me, and it’s going to be attached to me forever. It’s a major blemish on who I am as a man.”
Although he’s issued an apology several times, it’ll never erase the damage that was done to the women involved.