Fact Check: Tyrese Video Leak Of Apple Deal With Beats Cost Dr. Dre $200 Million

Fact Check: Tyrese Video Leak Of Apple Deal With Beats Cost Dr. Dre $200 Million

Apple Dr. Dre

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Beats co-founder Dr. Dre at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. (Paul Sakuma / AP)

Loose lips almost jeopardized the most expensive and best-known acquisition in Apple history and cost Dr. Dre the designation of First Black Billionaire due to his apparent inability to keep his mouth shut.

In 2014, before Apple confirmed the acquisition of Dr. Dre’s and Jimmy Iovine’s Beats music streaming and electronics companies, rumors swirled about the negotiations. However, Apple was known for being excessively concerned with secrecy, and the Beats leadership team was warned not to say a word about it until an official announcement was made.

In his 2022 book, Tripp Mickle, a tech reporter covering Apple for The New York Times, reported that Apple and Beats had originally struck a $3.2 billion deal, but Dre announced the acquisition of the pending deal prematurely in a video that was leaked on Facebook. The leaked video announcement violated a confidentiality agreement. Ultimately, $200 million was knocked off the price, Mickle wrote in his book, “After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul.”

“It was a sum that Iovine and Dre could barely fathom,” according to iMore.com. “As the lawyers worked through final details, Iovine summoned the leadership team of Beats to his home near Beverly Hills. He told everyone that they were on the cusp of finalizing a massive deal. The only thing that could spoil it would be for word of the deal to leak.”

Later that same night, Dr. Dre boasted to “Fast & Furious” actor and hip-hop artist Tyrese Gibson that he had just joined the “billionaire boys club for real, homie” and become “the first billionaire in hip-hop, right here from the mother-f-‘in west coast.”

What appeared to be a drunk video of the interaction was posted on Facebook, Iovine learned in a 2 a.m. call from Sean “Diddy” Combs. Tyrese posted a video clip taken in what appeared to be a recording studio, bragging about being drunk on Heineken beers as Dre declared himself the first hip-hop billionaire in a $3.2 billion deal. Tyrese suggested that Forbes update its rich-people list, Yahoo News reported.

When Apple CEO Tim Cook heard about the video, Dr. Dre and Iovine were summoned to Apple headquarters in Cupertino.

Iovine was sure that Dre had killed the deal, iDrop News reported. He had just outed the largest acquisition in the history of the world’s most secretive company. Cook said he was “disappointed and wished that Dre’s social media outburst hadn’t happened.” But he didn’t call off the deal. Instead, he took $200 million off the purchase price — “just enough to keep Dre out of the billionaire boys’ club.”

It’s unclear whether that was Cook’s intention or not, iDrop reported.

Shawn “Jay-Z Carter” became the first known Black billionaire in 2021.

The New York Post reported that the reduced offer shortly before the Apple-Beats deal was officially announced was the result of a leaked report that Beats Music had only 111,000 subscribers. However, Apple would have had full disclosure of that information before coming to the negotiating table, iDrop reported.

Dr. Dre said that the incident was one of the most embarrassing moments of his life, according to the 2017 HBO documentary “The Defiant Ones.”