Dr. Dre Reportedly Threatens Legal Action To Prevent The Michel’le Biopic From Airing
On October 15, Lifetime is scheduled to air made-for-TV film Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le. The biographical film is centered around Michel’le, who was a late 1980s and early 1990s R&B star on Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records. Later on, Michel’le moved with producer Dr. Dre, The D.O.C., and their manager Suge Knight’s to establish Death Row Records. There, nearly a decade after her debut, she would release her sophomore album. More than her music career, the film (which is produced by Sony), appears to examine Michel’le’s romantic relationships, with Dre and later, Knight.
With each partner, the Compton, California would have have children. Notably, the songstress married Knight at a time when he was incarcerated. Death Row, founded by Knight and Dre, would cause a rift between the two men. Following a 1996 exit by Dre, Death Row waged a violent war with its former president and lead artist. During some of that time, in the late ’90s and early 2000s, Michel’le was at the helm, as acting CEO.
Last month, in a trailer, Surviving Compton depicted some of the physical abuse Michel’le endured during her relationship with Dre. The collaborative couple were reportedly engaged, though never married in the ’80s and ’90s. According to TMZ, Dr. Dre and his lawyers have issued a cease-and-desist to Sony, just days before the film is slated to reach televisions.
Per TMZ’s report, “[The cease-and-desist by Dr. Dre] flatly denies ever abusing Michel’le. It makes reference to the fact that they dated around 30 years ago and she never hinted at abuse or any type of violent behavior on his part. They also say she never sought medical treatment or filed a police report.”
Last year, in an interview with The Breakfast Club, the “Nicety” singer went into detail about the two significant relationships. She says Dre’s attacks gave her black eyes and broke her nose, while Knight protected her—before they were an item themselves. She also spoke of Knight’s infidelities.
Neither Michel’le, nor Pump It Up host Dee Barnes were portrayed in last year’s Straight Outta Compton N.W.A. biopic. Barnes, who accused Dre of assaulting her in early 1991, pressed charges against the N.W.A. member at the time. In turn, Dre was ordered two years of probation, in addition to a fine and community service. In an L.A. Weekly interview also published last year, former Ruthless Records label-mate Tairrie B., alleges that Dre physically assaulted her in 1990.
In the 25 years since, Dr. Dre has become a mogul. Following his 1996 exit from Death Row, he established Aftermath Entertainment—home to Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Eve. He also co-founded Beats Electronics (f/k/a Beats By Dre), before selling to Apple. Dre has also been in a married relationship for nearly 20 years.
Notably, actor R. Marcus Taylor, who played Suge in Straight Outta Compton will reprise the role in Surviving Compton.
Michel’le has not responded publicly to the C&D.