Apple defends rapper and Beats co-founder Dr Dre

Dr Dre.
Dr Dre.

LOS ANGLES • Apple Inc came to the defence of rapper and Beats co-founder Dr Dre last Friday, following his apology "to the women I've hurt".

Reports of his past altercations with women resurfaced around the release of N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton.

Apple, which acquired Dr Dre's headphone and music streaming company, Beats Electronics, last year for US$3 billion (S$4.2 billion) and made him an executive, said it believed in the rapper's sincerity.

"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," it said in a statement. "After working with him for a year and a half, we have every reason to believe that he has changed."

Dr Dre, 50, a founding member of Compton rap collective N.W.A., the subject of the box- office hit Straight Outta Compton, apologised for his actions from 25 years ago.

These included an incident with female presenter Dee Barnes.

"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," he told The New York Times.

He said he has been married for 19 years and is "working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way".

He added: "I'm doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again. 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."

The Times said Dr Dre pleaded no contest to assault and battery charges in the incident involving Barnes and was sentenced to probation and community service, while a civil suit was settled out of court.

She wrote an essay for Gawker last week in which she rehashed details of the assault. The incident, in which Dr Dre allegedly confronted her at a party in 1991 and punched her in the head and slammed her face and body repeatedly against a wall, was left out of the film, which traces the origins of N.W.A. and its members. Barnes says she suffers migraines from the attack.

Two other women, singer and Dr Dre's former girlfriend Michel'le and musician Tairrie B, a one-time labelmate, told the Times that they, too, had been assaulted by the rapper in the past.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2015, with the headline 'Apple defends Dr Dre'. Print Edition | Subscribe