An early draft of the new NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton featured a depiction of Dr Dre's violent attack on Denise "Dee" Barnes.
The Los Angeles Times leaked an early version of the script featuring a reenactment of the horrific scene, however, the account never made it to the big screen.
In the scene, the fictional Dre, “eyes glazed, drunk, with an edge of nastiness, contempt” (per noted from the script) spots Barnes at the party and approaches her.
“Saw that [expletive] you did with Cube. Really had you under his spell, huh? Ate up everything he said. Let him diss us. Sell us out.”
“I just let him tell his story,” Barnes’ character retorts, “That’s what I do. It’s my job.”
“I thought we were cool, you and me,” Dre fires back. “But you don’t give a [expletive]. You just wanna laugh at N.W.A, make us all look like fools.”
The conversation escalates, Barnes throws her drink in Dre’s face before he attacks her “flinging her around like a rag-doll, while she screams, cries, begs for him to stop.”
In a recently published Gawker essay, Barnes slammed the film for its revisionist history, conveniently erasing the group's violent misogyny to portray the protagonists as heroes.
When director F Gary Gray was confronted during a pre-release screening, he was asked why he omit the scene. He simply claimed that it was to focus more tightly on the group.
"There are so many things that you can add or subtract. Cube always said, ‘You can make five different NWA movies.’ We made the one we wanted to make.”
In a politically charged film with strong commentary on racist police violence, street violence, a criminal justice system tailored to protect white cops, censorship, government intimidation and executives taking advantage of young talent — one would think that the director could find at least one intelligent way to address violence against women, an enormous problem which runs rampant in black culture today — instead of fueling it by omission.
Meanwhile, Dre recently spoke to Rolling Stone, addressing the assault against Barnes as well as recent charges of abuse by his former girlfriend Michel'le.
"I was young, f**king stupid. I would say all the allegations aren't true — some of them are. Those are some of the things that I would like to take back. It was really fucked up. But I paid for those mistakes, and there's no way in hell that I will ever make another mistake like that again."
In 1991, Dre plead no contest to misdemeanor battery charges for beating the former Fox TV host of the Pump It Up rap show. Barnes filed a civil lawsuit against Dre for $22.7 million, in which they settled out of court. Barnes claims she received less than $1 million.
Read Barnes' entire Gawker essay: Here's What's Missing From Straight Outta Compton: Me and the Other Women Dr. Dre Beat UpReuse content