Over the weekend, Dr. Dre penned an essay for The New York Times apologizing to the women he has hurt in his past. Now, two of those women—musicians Michel’le and Dee Barnes—are speaking out.
In his apology, Dr. Dre said that during that time in his life, he was drinking heavily and had no real structure. Since then, he said he has worked to be a better man for his family, but he “deeply regrets” his actions and apologized to all of the women he has hurt.
Both Michel’le and Barnes had high-profiled relationships with the music mogul in the late 80s and early 90s, and both have accused him of being physically abusive.
Three days after Dr. Dre’s apology was published, Barnes penned her own response on Gawker, where, though grateful for the apology, she questioned the timing (“The stakes are high now and money talks, loud. Is this is a PR move by Universal, which released Straight Outta Compton?”) and chillingly pointed out that Dr. Dre’s popular headphones, Beats by Dre, take on another meaning when you remove the “s” from “beats.”
“Is Dre himself really remorseful or just saving face?” she wrote. “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 apologized? The point is that he did.”
However, Michel’le was singing a slightly different tune in a recent interview with BBC Radio 5. She recalled being co-dependent on him and enduring beatings for six years, blaming herself. She agreed with Barnes that the apology came at an opportune time and questioned the rapper’s intentions.
“I didn’t ask for a public apology, and I think if he is going to apologize, he should do it individually,” she said. “To just group us like we are nothing and nobody… I just don’t think it’s sincere. Treat us like we have names.”