In an article published today by Gawker, journalist Dee Barnes opened up about being assaulted by Dr. Dre in 1991—an incident notably absent from the recently-released N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. At the time, Barnes hosted a hip-hop-focused show on Fox called Pump It Up! In 1990, Pump It Up! showed footage of an interview with Ice Cube where he slighted the members of his former group. The next year, Barnes writes, Dr. Dre “straddled me and beat me mercilessly on the floor of the women’s restroom at the Po Na Na Souk nightclub.”
“That event isn’t depicted in Straight Outta Compton,” she writes in the post. “I don’t think it should have been, either. The truth is too ugly for a general audience… But what should have been addressed is that it occurred… Like many of the women that knew and worked with N.W.A., I found myself a casualty of Straight Outta Compton’s revisionist history.” Barnes also notes that the movie ignored Dre’s alleged violence against Michel’le and Tairrie B, two artists who put out albums on Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records.
In this month's issue of Rolling Stone, Dre commented on the allegations, saying:
"I made some fucking horrible mistakes in my life. I was young, fucking stupid. I would say all the allegations aren't true – some of them are. Those are some of the things that I would like to take back. It was really fucked up. But I paid for those mistakes, and there's no way in hell that I will ever make another mistake like that again."
(A representative for Dr. Dre did not immediately return a request for comment.)
Dre is one of the film’s executive producers, and according to Barnes' post, the director F. Gary Gray also has a conflict of interest—he was the cameraman on Pump It Up! who filmed the interview in which Ice Cube dismissed his former colleagues. She adds that he subsequently turned her down for a part in the 1996 movie Set It Up because he wanted to maintain his friendly association with Dre, who also had a role in that film.
Tairrie B recently spoke to L.A. Weekly about her history with Dre, and Michel’le did the same in an interview with DJ Vlad, which you can watch below. Read Barnes’ essay here.