In an uncharacteristically candid admission, Dr. Dre says his physically abusive past haunts him as he directly takes responsibility for his actions for the first time.
“Any man who puts his hands on a female is a f—— idiot. He’s out of his f—— mind and I was out of my f—— mind at the time,” Dre says in a Monday, July 10, segment from the HBO docuseries “The Defiant Ones” of how he assaulted journalist Dee Barnes. “I f—— up. I paid for it. I’m sorry for it, and I apologize for it.
“I have this dark cloud that follows me, and it’s going to be attached to me forever. It’s a major blemish on who I am as a man.”
Dre blamed heavy drinking for the beating, according to Entertainment Weekly, which he said occurred at a “very low point in my life” following the death of his brother and Ice Cube’s departure from N.W.A.
“I’ve experienced abuse,” he said according to EW. “I’ve watched my mother get abused. So, there’s absolutely no excuse for it. No woman should ever be treated that way.”
The Barnes incident, in which Dre pleaded no contest to assault and battery charges, occurred in 1991 after the rapper confronted Barnes about a segment she was doing about N.W.A. on her show “Pump It Up!”, The New York Times reported. She alleged Dre picked her up and started “slamming her face and the right side of her body repeatedly against a wall,” according to a statement she released to Rolling Stone at the time.
Other allegations of abuse have plagued Dre, including assaults on ex-girlfriend Michel’le, which she told The Breakfast Club resulted in black eyes, cracked ribs and a broken nose. His former label mate Tairrie B. also was allegedly punched by a drunk Dre after he heard the diss track “Ruthless B—-” in 1990, according to Spin.