Michel’le Spilled All the Tea in 'Surviving Compton' Biopic

Photo by Charley Gallay
Lifetime's "Surviving Compton" had everybody tweeting on Saturday

Lifetime aired Michel’le's biopic, Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le, the story of the R&B singer’s rise to fame on Saturday.

The film follows Michel’le, played by Rhyon Nicole Brown, as she navigates a hit-career, drugs, and the two men who would play significant roles in her life: Dr. Dre and Suge Knight. She dated Dr. Dre in the early 1990s (they had a son in 1991) and later married Death Row’s Suge Knight (they had a daughter in 2002).

“This is no joke,” said Michel'le, after watching the film. “I would never want anyone to live this life. I’m watching myself, when I watched them portray me and Dr. Dre and it touched me in a different way … it was a very eye-opening experience. I didn’t see it that way [at the time]. I thought it was just normal for me.”

Both men physically abused Michel’le, a claim that Dr. Dre has always denied. But it was when Michel’le’s character was completely missing from last year’s NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton -- despite her prominent role in their inner circle--that she knew she had to tell her story. “The blessing was that he didn’t put it in there,” the singer told ESSENCE. “It gave me the opportunity to tell the story. If he would’ve put five minutes of me in there, I would’ve never gotten to tell my story.

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“I was told they did cast me and did shoot scenes with [my character], but Dr. Dre chose to not have it in the movie,” Michel’le told IndieWire. “But that allowed me to speak my truth. That was his story.”

The abuse scenes in Surviving Compton are graphic, even showing moments when Dr. Dre apparently pulled out a gun on Michel’le. Social media did not hold back.


Dr. Dre had threatened action if the movie portrayed them in a negative light. The mogul’s legal team fired off a cease and desist letter to Sony before the movie’s debut demanding that Sony back off. They held firm to the story.

We’ll keep an eye out for his next move. Did you watch the movie?

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