Valuable insight from some of the music industry’s heavyweights can be found within HBO’s four-part program, The Defiant Ones. Helmed by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, the documentary takes a look at their careers and how they paved the way for other superstars to get their just due.
Sunday’s (July 9) episode debuted to rave reviews, but part two of the installment made headlines for an incident that stems back to the ’90s. According to TMZ, Dr. Dre took a moment to express his regret for reportedly physically assaulting journalist Dee Barnes at a club in Los Angeles, California.
“Any man who puts his hands on a female is a fu**ing idiot. He’s out of his fu**ing mind, and I was out of my fu**ing mind at the time. I fu**ed up, I paid for it, I’m sorry for it, and I apologize for it,” he said, per TMZ. “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.”
As detailed in an in-depth article by Highsnobiety, Barnes was on the set of Boyz N The Hood preparing to interview rapper Yo Yo for Pump It Up! in 1990.
During her Q&A, Ice Cube (who starred in the film) interjected their on-camera conversation to say a few choice words about N.W.A since they were at odds at the time. Prior to this event, Barnes spoke with N.W.A, also for Pump It Up! Once both segments were complete, producer Jeff Shore told Barnes he planned to combine the instances, which she was completely against.
At the top of 1991, Barnes arrived at a release party for Bytches With Problems, which was also attended by Dr. Dre. According to reports, Dre allegedly attacked Barnes over the Pump It Up! package, which resulted in a $22 million lawsuit against the Aftermath leader for assault and battery.
Once Straight Outta Compton was released in 2015, many wondered if Dre’s assault on Barnes would be depicted, which she also addressed. During the biopic’s debut, Dre also issued an apology “to the women I’ve hurt.” Barnes then utilized Gawker’s platform to publish her response and questioned whether his statement was a “PR move by Universal,” the conglomerate that housed Straight Outta Compton.
“The hypocrisy of it all is appalling. This is bigger than me and bigger than hip-hop,” Barnes wrote. “This is about respect and awareness. As a result of speaking on my personal experience with violence, I have been vilified.”
R&B singer Michele’le also recalled a time Dre allegedly enacted physical violence, which she discussed on The Breakfast Club in 2015.