Rapper, producer and billionaire entrepreneur Dr Dre has apologised publicly for his past physical abuse of women.
In a statement to the New York Times on Friday, Dre – real name Andre Young – said:
“I apologise to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”
Dre, 50, has been married for almost 20 years and says he is a different man to the one who, at the height of his success with hip-hop group NWA, was accused of assaulting several women. The controversy was re-ignited by the recent release of the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, which has come under widespread criticism for having omitted any mention of the group’s misogyny and Dre’s alleged violence towards women.
This week, the Los Angeles Times acquired an early draft of the film’s script, which included a scene featuring the notorious altercation between Dre and hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes. In 1991, Dre confronted Ms Barnes about her coverage of NWA at an LA nightclub.
Ms Barnes said the star punched her and slammed her face into a wall; Dre pleaded no contest to assault and battery and was fined and sentenced to community service and probation. He was also accused of similar attacks by Tairrie B, a musician who shared the same label as NWA, and by his former girlfriend, R&B singer Michel’le.
Dre told the Times he's not making excuses for what he's done:
“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.”
This month, in his rapper-producer guise, Dre released a new album, Compton, to coincide with the film – his first LP for more than 15 years. Last year, as a businessman, he sold his headphones brand Beats to Apple for a reported $3bn. The tech firm, which now employs him as a consultant, also released a statement:
“Dre has apologised 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.”Reuse content