Dr. Dre: ‘It’s a Major Blemish on Who I Am as a Man’
By SOTG News Service
In Part Two of director Allen Hughes‘ four-part documentary on the careers of Dr. Dre and industry veteran Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre took a moment to express his regret for reportedly physically assaulting journalist Dee Barnes at a club in Los Angeles.
The documentary debuted to rave reviews with Sunday’s showing of part one, but part two of the installment made headlines for an incident that stems back to the ’90s. In it, Barnes detailed the events leading up to her assault and its lasting effect. Dre, in a separate interview, expressed regret over the violent incident.
“Any man who puts his hands on a female is a f—ing idiot. He’s out of his f—ing mind, and I was out of my f—ing mind at the time. I f—ed 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.”
Dre’s ire toward Barnes was rooted in an episode of her hip hop TV series “Pump It Up!” She was on the set of John Singleton’s “Boyz N the Hood” preparing to interview rapper Yo Yo when Ice Cube (who starred in the film and had just left N.W.A.) interrupted their on-camera Q&A to dis his former group. Prior to this event, Barnes had interviewed N.W.A, also for “Pump It Up!” Once both segments were in the can, producer Jeff Shore told Barnes he would edit the two interviews together for an episode, which Barnes never realized would cause trouble.
“I was 22 at the time. I’m not Oprah,” she said in the doc. “I didn’t know there was still more internal struggles in the group. Not even after Cube left.”
In January 1991, Dre spotted Barnes at a release party for rap duo BWP. Still smoldering over N.W.A.’s “Pump It Up!” episode, he assaulted her, according to police reports. “When I say he snatched me up, my feet were off the ground,” Barnes said. “Everybody knows the story from there.”
According to her $22-million civil suit against Dre for assault and battery, he allegedly grabbed her hair, slammed her face and body into a wall and kicked her in the ribs.
Once the Straight Outta Compton movie was released in 2015, many wondered if Dre’s assault on Barnes would be depicted. During the biopic’s debut, Dre issued an apology “to the women I’ve hurt.” Barnes then utilized Gawker’s platform to publish her response and questioned whether his statement was a “PR move by Universal,” the conglomerate that housed Straight Outta Compton.
“The hypocrisy of it all is appalling. This is bigger than me and bigger than hip-hop,” Barnes wrote. “This is about respect and awareness. As a result of speaking on my personal experience with violence, I have been vilified.”
R&B singer Michel’le, who shares a child with the rapper-producer, has also come forward with her experiences of physical violence at the hands of Dre.
“I’ve done a lot of stupid s**t in my life, a lot of things that I wish I could go and take back,” Dre says in the documentary. “I’ve experienced abuse. I’ve watched my mother get abused. There’s absolutely no excuse for it. No woman should ever be treated that way.”