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Women assaulted by the young Dr Dre respond to his apology

By | Published on Tuesday 25 August 2015

Dr Dre

Two of the women assaulted by a younger Dr Dre have responded to an apology he issued last weekend to “the women I’ve hurt”.

Dre was responding to discussions instigated by a piece penned by journalist Dee Barnes, a former partner of the rapper and producer, who he assaulted in 1991. Barnes described the incident in quite some detail, after noting how it had been left out of the much hyped NWA biopic ‘Straight Out Compton”.

In a statement to the New York Times, Dre 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. 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 nineteen 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”.

Dre’s current employer, since its acquisition of his Beats company, Apple, also issued a statement, saying it believed in the sincerity of the regret expressed by the former NWA man now on its staff. The firm said: “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”.

But plenty of people online were more critical of Dre, suggesting the statement was just a PR move to counter any controversy around his new movie or, more importantly, his now very corporate business interests. But how did the victims of the younger Dr Dre feel about his very public remarks all these years later?

Barnes said she was in part motivated to write her original piece after the Beats man acknowledged his “fucking horrible mistakes” in a recent Rolling Stone interview, but failed to go into any specifics or to actually apologise. And to that end, she has welcomed Dre’s more explicit statement of regret.

Although still critical of his past actions, she wrote in a new piece for Gawker: “Is this is a PR move by Universal, which released ‘Straight Outta Compton’? After all, the film just crossed the $100 million mark its second weekend in theaters. Is it damage control by Apple, which can no longer ignore that if you take the ‘Beats by Dre’ logo and remove the ‘S’, you get a double entendre describing several woman he just apologised to?”

She went on: “Is Dre himself really remorseful or just saving face? To me, the answers to these questions matter less than the fact that Dre stepped up and performed his social responsibility by finally taking accountability for his actions. Who cares why he apologised? The point is that he did”.

However, Dre’s former fiancée Miche’le Toussaint, who has made a number of allegations against the producer over the years, was less impressed. She told the BBC: “I didn’t ask for a public apology and I think if he is going to apologise he should do it individually. To just group us like we are nothing and nobody – I just don’t think it’s sincere. Treat us like we have names. He’s selling a movie. I just think it’s good PR at the moment”.