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Dee Barnes on February 8, 2011, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Paul Archuleta / Getty

A domestic violence victim at the hands of a popular rapper decades ago has spoken out in the wake of the recent release of a horrific video showing hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs violently attacking his then-girlfriend Cassie Ventura in 2016.

Dee Barnes, a media personality and former rapper who in 1991 was the victim of a violent assault by Dr. Dre and has gone on to be outspoken about domestic violence issues, took to social media following CNN publishing the graphic video of Combs assaulting Ventura.

The video – which shows Diddy attacking Ventura from behind by punching and kicking her in a hotel hallway before attempting to drag her away – was made public just about six months after Ventura filed a bombshell lawsuit accusing Diddy of rape and abuse during their nearly 10-year-long relationship.

In Ventura’s lawsuit – which was first reported by the New York Times and quickly settled for $30 million – Diddy, 54, is accused of not only rape but also plying Ventura with drugs to control her sexually and physically assaulting and abusing her on multiple occasions.

Diddy vehemently denied the accusations that were ultimately confirmed on Friday with the release of the hotel video, leading him to on Sunday release a mea cupla-styled video that was absent of an apology or Ventura’s name.

It was in that context that Barnes took to X, formerly Twitter, to address the latest high-profile collision of domestic violence in the hip-hop community.

“Seeing that video is extremely triggering,” Barnes wrote in a post before reminding her followers that Dr. Dre “punched, slammed, kicked and stomped me out.”

The video footage also lent renewed validity to the lingering – and unfounded – suspicions that Diddy also played a role in the death of Kim Porter, the mother of Diddy’s children who died unexpectedly in 2018 under questionable circumstances. A writer who calls herself Porter’s “friend” claimed in a series of social media posts that “Diddy humiliated, beat & repeat Kim for years.”

Barnes said she stood in solidarity with Cassie, Porter “and all the other victims of his violent abuse.”

What happened to Dee Barnes?

In 1991, Dr. Dre beat and kicked Barnes while attempting to throw her down a set of stairs because of her association with then-rival rapper Ice Cube. According to Barnes’ own statement at the time, Dr. Dre punched her in the head multiple times and began “slamming her face and the right side of her body repeatedly against a wall.” Barnes brought a $22.75 million lawsuit against Dr. Dre, which was settled out of court with the famous producer paying just over $2,000 in fines and serving community service.

Barnes was among the most outspoken when Dr. Dre was selected to perform at the Super Bown LVI halftime show in 2021 and last year when he was presented with the inaugural Dr. Dre Global Impact Award at the Grammy Awards ceremony.

In that latter instance, Barnes told Rolling Stone she was appalled at how “an abuser” continues to win such accolades and compared it to naming an award after Ike Turner, the musician better known for physically and mentally abusing Tina Turner decades ago.

Barnes also said she “would’ve been” at the Grammys to help celebrate its 50th-anniversary tribute to hip-hop if it wasn’t for Dr. Dre “blacklisting her,” adding insult to literal injury.

Like Diddy, Dr. Dre has been accused of physically abusing other women, too.

Unlike Diddy, thought, Dr. Dre has apologized; he just never explicitly referenced any abuse.

“Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life,” Dre told the New York Times in 2015. “However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I’ve been married for 19 years 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.”

Dr. Dre later said he was sorry.

“I apologize to the women I’ve hurt,” he said. “I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”

Notably, Barnes responded to Dr. Dre’s apology by saying, “I hope he means it.”


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Dee Barnes Calls Video Of Diddy Attacking Cassie ‘Triggering’ Decades After Dr. Dre Brutally Beat Her  was originally published on