Lifetime’s Surviving Compton gave a different side of the story from the West Coast’s most notorious rap legend, Dr. Dre. One thing that the movie Straight Outta Compton left out was the romance between Dr. Dre and his then girlfriend singer Michel’le. However, that all changed this passed Saturday night when rumors of Dre’s alleged physical abuse was told by the woman who endured it.
Michel’le was a Ruthless Records singer with a unique high pitch voice. She met Dr. Dre after being discovered in the store that she worked at. She was heard singing at work and asked to come to the studio. Michel’le however, was quickly judged when they heard her talking voice, but shut up fast once they realized she could actually sing.
As the movie tells it, shortly after meeting Dre, the two started a relationship. Dr. Dre is portrayed as a short tempered alcoholic that begins to use Michel’le as a punching bag. The sad part about it is she stayed. Michel’le says this was due to being taught as a child that men show their love by using their fists. Also, her grandmother who knew of Dre’s abuse told her to stay and deal with it.
Throughout the movie, Michel’le is shown as this weak woman who allows the abuse from the man that she loves. She cooks and cleans for Dre and house guests but that never seems to be enough to escape the violence. Later she becomes pregnant and decides to keep the baby. It is also revealed that she became addicted to prescription drugs as a way to drown out what she was experiencing in her personal life. As a result, her music career suffered.
The film focuses heavily on the abuse she sustained from Dr. Dre and later from Suge Knight. Her music career is mentioned but not the center of attention. She shot a few music videos and went on tour but she could never seem to get her career back. Perhaps this was because she was so broken by the men in her life. Towards the end of the movie, Michel’le finds her strength and starts to live for her children and most importantly herself!
Dr. Dre has denied ever abusing Michel’le and threatened to sue Lifetime over the film. A disclaimer about his denial is seen in the last minutes of the story. Michel’le remains firm that everything shown is true. We will have to see how this plays out in court, if it gets to that point but in the meantime, hopefully Michel’le has put the hurt and pain behind her.
If you haven’t seen Surviving Compton Dre, Suge & Michel’le check out the trailer below: