Dr Dre apologizes for assaulting Michel'le and Dee Barnes in the 90s

Dr Dre

Dr Dre has apologized to R&B singer Michel’le and journalist Dee Barnes, whose past accusations of abuse against the rapper were notably absent from the newly released NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton.

Related: Straight Outta Compton ignores Dr Dre's abuse of women, say two former victims

The two women involved with Dre during the time period chronicled in the biopic have said the film failed to portray their experiences as it told the story of the group’s history. Michel’le, who was in a relationship with Dre from 1990 to 1996, said she was repeatedly beaten by him and journalist Dee Barnes said Dre assaulted her at a party in 1991.

“I apologize to the women I’ve hurt,” Dre said in a statement to the New York Times. “I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”

Dre eventually pleaded no contest to attacking Barnes and was given probation.

The omission of these relationships from the biopic has become the focal point of criticism of the film, which took in $56.1m during its opening weekend in the US.

“Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life,” Dre said. “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.”

Apple, which acquired Beats by Dr Dre for $3bn last year, released a statement alongside Dre.

“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,” the company said. “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.”

Both women had previously spoken about the incidents and earlier this week, Barnes wrote an essay for Gawker to share her experience.

Dre also responded to the incidents in a Rolling Stone cover story published this month.

“I made some fucking horrible mistakes in my life,” Dre told Rolling Stone. “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.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Amanda Holpuch in New York, for theguardian.com on Friday 21st August 2015 19.36 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010