By Andre Jones
Grammy award winning Hip-Hop music mogul Andre Romelle Young, known to most of us as Dr. Dre, is threatening to sue Sony Pictures Television if Lifetime airs a new film that specifically depicts Dr. Dre as a woman beater.
Upcoming Lifetime biopic Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge, & Me is centered on R&B singer Michel’le and her relationships with Dr. Dre and Death Row CEO/founder Suge Knight. However, it is the alleged physical abuse within those relationships – which is highlighted in the movie – that is causing threats of legal action.
Michel’le agreed to partner with Sony Pictures Television and ThinkFactory Media in response to the glaring omission of her role in Dr. Dre’s life in the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Indeed, critics of Straight Outta Compton had taken Dr. Dre to task for marginalizing his past abuse of women, to which he responded by issuing an apology in a statement to the New York Times, “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.”
“I just think he did a general apology because he had a movie out, and he’s got a brand and that’s what you do. I’m not mad at him. If he feels free with that, then that’s good,” Michel’le told HuffPost.
Michel’le first met Dr. Dre when he was a member of Hip-Hop/R&B group World Class Wreckin’ Cru, when she was hired to sing on their hit single Turn off the Lights. She was then signed to Eazy E’s label Ruthless Records, releasing her self-titled debut album, Michel’le in 1989. The album was produced entirely by Dr. Dre, who she was in a romantic relationship with by this time – a relationship she described as becoming progressively abusive, “It wasn’t just physical,” she told HuffPost, “Of course, it affected me mentally because I’m still talking about it.”
Dr. Dre’s legal team has issued a cease and desist letter that flatly denies the abuse, citing her failure to seek medical treatment or file a police report. “What doesn’t make sense is, why would you publicly apologize for beating women, and then turn around and say, ‘I didn’t beat a woman?’, Michel’le countered.
Not intimidated by threats of legal action, Michel’le said, “If he would like to take me to court and sue me, then we should both do our depositions so we can get the story right,” she told HuffPost in response to the threats. “And I have witnesses, so I don’t think people are gonna get up there and say, ‘No we didn’t see anything.’”
Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge, & Me is scheduled to air on Lifetime October 15th.
Suge Knight has also threatened civil action if the film is released.