A trailblazing hip-hop journalist whose career went off the rails after she was brutally beaten by Dr Dre in 1991 has been evicted from her home and launched a GoFundMe campaign pleading for help getting back on her feet.
In the wake of the attack, Dre skyrocketed to super-stardom and amassed a fortune of $770 million as Dee Barnes watched her career grind to a halt, leaving her struggling to make ends meet.
Three decades later, Barnes has reached a new low as she stands on the brink of living on the street.
She opened up about her desperate situation this week in an interview with HipHopDx.
‘What made me finally say: “Enough, I’m going to ask for help” is that quote “You can overcome anything in life, but you must first be willing to live in your truth,”‘ Barnes said.
‘I realized that I had come too far and had been through too much to just give up without trying.’
Barnes shot to fame in 1989 when she became the first female hip-hop journalist to have a broadcast television show as the host of Pump It Up!, which featured interviews with the industries biggest artists, including Dre’s group N.W.A.
Everything changed when she interviewed former N.W.A. member-turned-enemy Ice Cube and aired a segment in which his words trashing the group were spliced into an interview Barnes previously conducted with the remaining members.
Dre, whose real name is Andre Romelle Young, was reportedly infuriated by the piece and believed Barnes had intentionally humiliated him.
By Barnes’ account, Dre unleashed his rage at a record release party by beating her mercilessly on the floor of the women’s restroom at a night club.
She filed criminal charges and a civil suit against Dre and found herself swamped by court appearances as her media career ground to a halt. Dre pleaded no contest to the criminal charges and the civil suit was settled out of court.
In this week’s interview, Barnes said: ‘I had never asked for public help before, but I then remembered a long time ago while I was going through the assault trial in 1991 people were sending me checks for my legal fees. I never cashed any of them — not one — but knowing I had that support kept me strong enough to continue to face each court date.
‘Right now, I am officially homeless. My goal with the campaign is to regain stability, which is imperative for survivors of any trauma.’
Barnes further explained her situation on the GoFundMe page she created last month, which had raised more than $14,000 as of Wednesday.
‘Standing in our own truth, not the definitions or the expectations, is powerful, and this is my TRUTH…Yes, I did post the link to my PayPal, CashApp and GooglePay accounts asking for help because I am in the process of being evicted,’ she wrote.
‘This page was created as an emergency fund to stop the process and the subsequent legal fees. Even though I am facing extreme financial hardship, I keep my head up. I know who I am, I know my worth, and I know I’m not alone.’
When asked about the connection between the attack and her eviction, Barnes told HipHopDx: ‘Any time a women tells her account of abuse from a public figure, there is always extreme backlash.
‘There are too many examples of this — the Hollywood actresses who found themselves jobless after taking a stand against [Harvey] Weinstein, the women who gave up their dreams of comedy after incidents with comic Louis C.K.
‘But most recently, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and the [Justice Brett] Kavanaugh hearings. After her testimony, she’s had to have security due to death threats, change her job, move her family, et cetera.
‘Women are punished first by the crime committed against them and then for holding abusers accountable for their actions and speaking out against domestic violence and sexual assault.
‘Survivors should be able to hold people in positions of power accountable for their actions without losing their own power. Times up.’
For years, Dre was dismissive of the allegations that he assaulted Barnes and two other women, including his then-girlfriend Michel’le.
He finally apologized in 2015 when the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton was released.
‘Twenty-five years ago, I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did,’ he said in a statement.
‘I’ve been married for 19 years now 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.
‘I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.’
Barnes reacted to the movie in a post for Gawker shortly after its release, saying: ‘When I was sitting there in the theater, and the movie’s timeline skipped by my attack without a glance, I was like: “Uhhh, what happened?” Like many of the women that knew and worked with N.W.A., I found myself a casualty of Straight Outta Compton‘s revisionist history.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail – Megan Sheets