Rapper Dr. Dre has been with his wife, Nicole Young, for almost a quarter of a century. During their marriage, Dr. Dre became one of the wealthiest hip-hop artists of all time. Now, the couple is heading toward divorce as Dr. Dre’s legal partner accuses Nicole of embezzlement. Though Nicole’s lawyers call the claim absurd, it bares enough validity that the LA Police Department has launched an investigation. Read on to see the rise and fall of one of hip hop’s most affluent couples.
Winning Her Over
Nicole Young married NBA player Sadette Threatt in 1992. The same year, Dr. Dre released his first solo album under the record label he co-owned, Death Row Records. Previously, the rapper had risen to fame as a member of the rap group N.W.A.
In the years to come, Nicole and Dr. Dre would eventually meet. The rapper managed to convince Nicole to leave her husband and be with him instead, reportedly through a love letter.
Starting A Life Together
The same year that Nicole left her NBA player husband, she married rapper Dr. Dre. 1996 was a big year for the couple as Dr. Dre also started his own label, Aftermath Entertainment.
This was the label that he would go on to sign rap giants Eminem and 50 Cent too. Producing allowed Dre to step back from performing atnd focus on life with Nicole and their family. The couple had two children together, a boy named Truice and a girl named Truly.
Supporting A Large Family
Dr. Dre already had four children from previous relationships. So, when he and Nicole added two more, they had a house full of children to raise. From a financial standpoint, that was no problem for Dr. Dre.
In 2001, the same year Truly was born, the rapper sold part of his Aftermath Entertainment label to Interscope Records for a staggering $52 million. By 2012, Dr. Dre had an estimated net worth of over a quarter of a billion dollars, according to Forbes.
The Massive Fortune That Came From Dre’s First Product
In 2008, Dr. Dre managed to find another way to rake in a massive fortune. In addition to producing hits like Mary J. Blige’s “Family Affair” and Gwen Stefani’s “Rich Girl,” the rapper decided to create his first consumer product.
He co-founded the company Beats LLC through which he released electronics like the famous Beats headphones. Dr. Dre sold the massive company to Apple for a breathtaking $3 billion in 2014! The same year, he purchased a LA mansion that formerly belonged to NFL star Tom Brady and supermodel Giselle Bundchen’s for $40 million.
Seemingly Happy As Ever
When Dr. Dre and Nicole Young attended the Tom Ford fashion show in February of 2020, they seemed as in love as ever. The pair arrived with their daughter, Truly, and were hand-in-hand.
After 24 years of marriage, Dre and Nicole had become an iconic power couple in hip hop. Given all they’d been through together and the empire they built, it seemed like nothing could break their bond. That’s why Nicole’s next move came as a complete shock.
Nicole Filed For Divorce
Just four months after their last public appearance together, Nicole filed for divorce from Dre citing “irreconcilable differences.” The news came as a shock to fans, especially considering how happy they appeared together recently.
Since the couple’s pre-nuptial agreement isn’t as straightforward as it could be, it was only a matter of time before things got messy. In preparation for the complicated divorce, Nicole hired Samantha Spector, a celebrity attorney who previously represented actors Jenna Dewan and Amber Heard.
Confusion Over The Prenuptial Agreement
Nicole and Dre may have had a prenuptial agreement, but the circumstances are a little muddled. According to a legal filing discovered by TMZ, Nicole did sign a prenup back in 1996 before the couple was married.
However, she claims that she was pressured into signing and that Dr. Dre eventually tore the papers up after feeling remorse over it. Since the document wasn’t officially nullified, the couple’s legal teams will have to duke it out over whether or not the supposed verbal agreement is valid.
Seeking Spousal Support
Another wrench in the legal battle is that Dr. Dre made the vast majority of his wealth after the two were already married. Since Nicole was by Dre’s side when he rose to such massive affluence, her lawyer may argue that she’s entitled to compensation.
To top it off, the marriage lasted almost a quarter of a century. That’s 24 years that Nicole didn’t have to worry about being financially responsible, so it seems obvious she would seek spousal support.
Is She A Lawyer Or Not?
One thing that could have made determining the prenup easier would be if Nicole had surmounted her own wealth through a career. Many media outlets claim that Nicole was a lawyer before she met Dr. Dre, but that may not be true.
CheatSheet reports that there is “no evidence that [Nicole] ever practiced law.” The website went on to explain that there is no information available about where Nicole got her degree or if she passed the bar.
A Judge Rejected Nicole’s $1.5 Million Request
The first financial battle between Nicole and Dre came to a close at the start of October 2020. TMZ reports that Nicole requested that Dre be ordered to pay her $1.5 million for security fees.
The judge turned her down but added that she could hire a security team on Dre’s dime so long as it was no more than what he was previously paying. Dre’s lawyer stated that he is willing to pay her security fees while the divorce is still pending.
Another Rejection By The Judge
In the same court visit where the judge rejected Nicole’s $1.5 million request, he also turned down her lawyers’ plea to move up a different hearing. The hearing in question is one that would determine whether or not Nicole gets $5 million in lawyer fees from Dre.
The hearing was initially set for January of 2021, but the lawyers were eager to get their payoff settled in October of 2020. The judge more or less rolled his eyes, stating that he had more serious cases to handle before turning down the request.
Dre’s Business Partner Says Nicole Embezzled Thousands
Shortly after Nicole’s embarrassing day in court, Dr. Dre’s business partner, Larry Chatman, accused her of embezzling more than $385,000! According to TMZ, Larry wrote legal letters in which he stated that she took the money from their business account without authorization.
He then filed a police report, launching the LAPD into a full-blown investigation. Though Dre didn’t file the report, he did bring the accusation into their divorce case. He claims that the embezzlement consists of two withdrawals that total near $400k.
Nicole Says She Was Entitled To The Money
TMZ reports that Nicole’s response to the embezzlement accusation was that she “had a right to the money in that corporate account because her name was on it.” Since married couples often join their accounts, it would make sense that Dre had his wife attached to all of his finances.
However, where does that leave Dre’s business partner Larry? Since he has equal say over the business as Dre does, it follows that he should have a say in Nicole’s interference with their funds.
Just A PR Stunt?
Though embezzlement is a serious crime that could result in jail time, Nicole’s lawyers are confident that there’s no validity to the claim. They’ve even gone so far as saying that Dre’s team is just trying to smear her name.
They call it a PR stunt with the intention of influencing their divorce proceedings in Dre’s favor. TMZ did say that they tried to reach Nicole’s lawyer to inquire about the police investigation, but they didn’t hear back.
Nicole Says The Separation Is Due To Dre’s Marital Misconduct
The Daily Mail reported on Nicole’s 121-page filing that details Dre’s marital misconduct, something she says is the reason for their separation. Nicole states that Dre would spread stories about her by telling press outlets.
Nicole also claims that Dre wanted to paint her as a “money grabber,” and that’s the reason that his business partner accused her of embezzlement. She says that the blow was meant to make her a target of “public ridicule.”
Dre Thinks He Pays Enough
According to TMZ, Dr. Dre finds his estranged wife’s requests to be “absurd.” The outlet quoted him saying, “This all seems like the wrath of an angry person being exacerbated by opportunistic lawyers.”
Dr. Dre also argued that he pays her living expenses and more already. To top it off, Nicole is reportedly still living in the Malibu mansion that Dre purchased. She also is said to still receive meals from Dre’s personal chef that she allegedly has delivered by his security.
Are Her Lawyers Overcharging?
Lawyers are generally extremely expensive, especially when it comes to high profile cases. However, Dr. Dre claims that Nicole’s lawyer fees are downright ridiculous. According to the Daily Mail, the rapper reported that her legal team has charged the salary of the average LA resident over the course of just two months.
We have to wonder if he was talking about the salary of the working class or that of someone in his tier of stardom.
Nicole Allegedly Spends Hundreds Of Thousands On Shopping
The same week that Nicole faced the tough judgement about her security team, she was photographed while out shopping. The Daily Mail reported that Nicole went on the shopping spree after her request for $1.5 million was turned down, calling it “retail therapy.”
They also noted that she appeared relaxed as she placed her shopping bags into her car, which isn’t what you would expect from someone in her position. However, the scene does match Dre’s claim that Nicole charges upwards of $350,000 to her AmEx Black Card every month! Which Dre pays for.
Dre Is Worth A Reported Billion Dollars
Though Forbes estimated that Dr. Dre’s worth was $800 million in 2019, other media outlets say that his assets total to $1 billion in 2020. Either way, there is a ton at stake.
Nicole clearly feels she deserves a chunk of her estranged husband’s massive wealth. Their lawyers will have to settle what will happen to the property and items they’ve shared over the years, and whether or not Nicole should get the same level of financial support.
Nicole Reports Her Monthly Expenses Are Over A Million
TMZ reported that Nicole’s monthly expenses that she’s claiming to support her spousal support case total to over $1 million! The biggest expenditure was “entertainment” which she allegedly claims costs $900,000 a month!
That doesn’t include her clothes shopping bill, which she supposedly puts at a modest $135,000 a month, plus $10,000 for laundry and cleaning. She also is said to have $20,000 listed as her email and phone costs. She at least listed $125,000 a month for charitable costs. Things aren’t looking great for either of them as the divorce continues to play out in court.