Michel’le: A Survivor 30 Years In The Making
But her soft, sweet voice and buttery R&B vocals hit the pain of an abusive relationship that took time to heal.
Michel’le was originally a featured female vocalist on World Class Wreckin’ Cru’s 1987 single “Turn Off the Lights.” Soon she caught the attention of Eazy-E and signed to his label. Dr. Dre served as the sole producer on the South Central native’s self-titled debut album and because they worked so closely in a professional manner, their relationship soon became intimate.
During their relationship, which included parenthood and an engagement, Dre raised his hand to Michel’le several times. According to Michel’le he broke her nose, cracked her ribs and blackened her eyes. The relationship prompted a downward spiral into substance abuse for the singer.
“When you’re living in it, you can’t see it. But I couldn’t believe that I was really living like that,” she recently said during an interview with The Huffington Post. “And it really resonated with me. Never did I wake up and ask Dre, ‘Why did you hit me?’”
Michel’le detailed the abuse in a recent interview with The Breakfast Club. “When he gave me my very first black eye, we laid in the bed and cried,” she said on the morning show. “He was crying and I was crying because I was in shock, hurt and in pain. I don’t know why he was crying, but he said ‘I’m really sorry.’ That was the only time he ever said he was really sorry. And he said, ‘I’ll never hit you in that eye again, okay?’“ She said in the interview that he kept that promise, but hit her in other places — “I have scars that are just amazing,” she told the show.
“I never went to the police because –” Toussaint paused to collect herself before continuing. “Because I didn’t know any different and I thought it was a form of love and I didn’t know any better. Can I just leave it right there?”
Dr. Dre confronted abuse allegations during the Straight Outta Compton press tour, telling Rolling Stone, “I made some f**king horrible mistakes in my life…