Singer Michel’le revealed during her appearance on the “R&B Divas” reunion show that aired this week that she was abused by her former boyfriend, legendary hip-hop star Dr. Dre. Michel’le told host Wendy Williams that Dre beat her repeatedly during their relationship in the 1990s. Dre and Michel’le had worked together as far back as the mid-1980s when he was a member of the pioneering World Class Wreckin’ Cru, and she sang vocals on some of their recordings — most notably the hit “Turn Off the Lights.” Later, when Dre joined the gangsta rap group N.W.A. and Eazy E‘s Ruthless Records, Michel’le also joined the label as an artist. She also subsequently went to Death Row Records when Dre joined that label in 1992.
But aside from their working relationship, the two dated from 1990 to 1996, and Michel’le told Williams that she once had to have plastic surgery due to her nose being broken.
“One of my boyfriends hit me and crooked it, so I had to try and straighten it and it took years because it cost a lot of money,” Michel’le admitted when Williams asked if any of the ladies in the “R&B Divas” cast had had plastic surgery.
Michel’le also dated Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight, but said that she stayed with Dre due to her own insecurities and lack of a father figure.
“I stayed because my father had never told me he loved me until just the last three years, so I think I had to go back and figure that out,” she said. “It’s in my book but getting beat was love to me. Believe it or not when I got with Suge he really didn’t beat me. I asked him, ‘Why aren’t you beating me? You don’t like me?’ I asked him that.”
“He knows it. It was very public. It was very, very public so that wasn’t a secret,” Michel’le said in reference to Dre. “I did five videos and we had to cover three black eyes. It seemed like the day before a video, I would get a black eye and we had to cover it. I truly, truly, truly loved him, but it was OK and I truly thought he loved me. I didn’t take it as anything bad, nor did I grow up seeing it in my household.”
“I finally realized that that wasn’t good, and believe it or not the person who helped me see that was Suge who helped me see that it wasn’t a normal thing. Suge tried to [rough me up] one time but by that time I was over it. Things flying. I was ready then. I appreciated that. I know it sounds really crazy, but it was my life. I can truly say that a lot of things that happened in my life, saved my life. Everything I’m going through saved my life.”
Of course, anyone who knows Dr. Dre’s history shouldn’t be surprised by Michel’le’s allegations.
The acclaimed rapper and producer made headlines back in 1991 when he was still a member of N.W.A. after he physically assaulted Dee Barnes, then the host of FOX’s hip-hop show “Pump It Up!” Barnes had interviewed former N.W.A. member Ice Cube at the height of his feud with N.W.A. and Dre felt that Barnes used the interview to portray the group in a negative light. When Dre later encountered Barnes at a party in Hollywood, he reportedly punched her in the back of the head and attempted to throw her down a flight of stairs. Dre was fined, placed on probation and ordered to perform community service. Barnes filed a lawsuit that Dre eventually settled out of court.