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Dr. Dre Apologizes for Assaulting Women, Apple Says 'He Has Changed'

"I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives."

Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Dr. Dre, the legendary hip-hop artist and subject of a new movie, says he’s sorry he has physically attacked women in the past. Apple, his current employer, says it has “every reason to believe that he has changed.”

Dr. Dre has occasionally addressed charges that he assaulted women during his years with rap group N.W.A. in the late 1980s and 1990s. He hasn’t talked about it recently, and the subject didn’t come up much last year when Apple bought the Beats headphone and music company he co-founded for $3 billion.

But things have changed with the release of “Straight Outta Compton,” an N.W.A. biopic in theaters now.

Earlier this month, he told Rolling Stone he was sorry about “horrible mistakes” he had made when he was “young, fucking stupid” — though he also said that “all the allegations aren’t true — some of them are.”

On Tuesday, Gawker published a first-person account from journalist Dee Barnes, who said Dr. Dre attacked her at a party in 1991; Dr. Dre pled no contest to criminal charges and settled a civil suit with Barnes out of court.

Now Dr. Dre has addressed his past again, via this statement to the New York Times:

“Twenty-five years ago 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. I’ve been married for 19 years and every day I’m working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I’m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again. I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”

Apple, who is employing Dre as a consultant after acquiring Beats, also provided a statement to the Times. It’s the first time they’ve publicly addressed his past since buying his company: “Dre has apologized 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. We believe his sincerity and after working with him for a year and a half, we have every reason to believe that he has changed.”

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