READ: Michel’le Talks ‘Surviving Compton’ in Candid New Interview

By Sameer Rao Oct 14, 2016

We reported last month on "Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Me," the new Lifetime biopic that tells the story of singer Michel’le. Ahead of the movie’s premiere tomorrow (October 15), the singer and former romantic partner of Dr. Dre and Suge Knight—both of of whom she maintains abused her—opened up to Melissa Harris-Perry in a revealing Q&A for ELLE.

The omission of Michel’le and Dee Barnes‘ accounts of abuse at the hands of Dr. Dre in "Straight Outta Compton" shrouded the N.W.A. biopic in controversy. Michel’le addresed the issue in the Q&A:

Why do you think ‘Straight Outta Compton’ left all of this out? 

I call his story a Disneyland because it’s an illusion. It is how he wanted it to be remembered, so that is how he portrayed it. And he had every right to do that. As did I. I remember it a different way.

Michel’le also talked about the normality of the abuse she says she experienced: 

And the beatings, the beatings were so normal to me. The abuse was just routine. I didn’t wake up the next day and say, ‘Dre, why did you hit me?’ We never talked about it the next day. Never. I can’t think of any time we had a discussion about the aftermath of what happened the night before. We just had too much going on.


It felt like love to me. It embraced me. I accepted it and thought, "Well, this is how he loves." I got that from my mother and from my grandmother, who were abused. I know in the movie it looks like my grandmother is condoning it, but she really wasn’t. But back in those days, men beat women. She was trying to tell me something without being judgmental, trying to help me understand that’s what men do.

Watch the "Surviving Compton" trailer below, then read the full Q&A here.