Model Emily Ratajkowski accuses singer and The Masked Singer judge Robin Thicke of groping her in an excerpt from her upcoming book My Body.
In her book Ratajkowski details the moment from the set of the music video for Thicke’s 2013 single “Blurred Lines.” The incident happened during the shoot for the uncensored version of the video. She and two other models appeared topless. (Watch it here, but NAKED BREASTS VERY NOT SAFE FOR WORK).
She felt a strangers hands suddenly “cupping my bare breasts from behind”
According to People, in the excerpt, Ratajkowski wrote that she initially enjoyed working on the music video, which featured an all-female crew. But when she and Thicke were alone on the set, “Suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt the coolness and foreignness of a stranger’s hands cupping my bare breasts from behind,” she wrote. “I instinctively moved away, looking back at Robin Thicke.”
“He smiled a goofy grin and stumbled backward, his eyes concealed behind his sunglasses. My head turned to the darkness beyond the set. [The director, Diane Martel’s] voice cracked as she yelled out to me, ‘Are you okay?’ ” she continued.
The video director confirmed the incident
Martel confirmed the model’s account to The Sunday Times, which originally published the excerpt. “I screamed in my very aggressive Brooklyn voice, ‘What the f— are you doing, that’s it!! The shoot is over!!'” she recalled, adding: “Robin sheepishly apologised. As if he knew it was wrong without understanding how it might have felt for Emily.”
She noted that “everything had been very sweet and enjoyable” until then, and she threatened to shut down production, but when she checked on Ratajkowski, the model “was very professional and said we could go on.”
According to the model, Thicke was “a little drunk” and “didn’t seem to be enjoying himself in the same way” during filming.”
The incident made her feel “naked for the first time”
Ratajkowski wrote that the incident made her feel “naked for the first time that day.” She plowed on “desperate to minimize” the embarrassment. “I pushed my chin forward and shrugged, avoiding eye contact, feeling the heat of humiliation pump through my body,” she noted. “I didn’t react — not really, not like I should have.”
“With that one gesture, Robin Thicke had reminded everyone on set that we women weren’t actually in charge. I didn’t have any real power as the naked girl dancing around in his music video. I was nothing more than the hired mannequin,” she wrote.
Martel intended to subvert power dynamics with the video, with the half naked models “mocking him and the male gaze.” But the single became controversial, with a large consensus concluding that the song promoted rape culture with the lyric “I know you want it.”
Blurred Lines became a massive hit
Regardless, the song became a massive hit that year, earning the singer two Grammy nominations.
He came to regret recording the song. Beyond losing a lawsuit the Marvin Gaye family filed for copyright infringement, he concluded the song was ill-conceived.
“We had no negative intentions when we made the record, when we made the video,” Thicke told the New York Post in February. “But then it did open up a conversation that needed to be had. And it doesn’t matter what your intentions were when you wrote the song … the people were being negatively affected by it. And I think now, obviously, culture, society has moved into a completely different place. You won’t see me making any videos like that ever again!”
Robin claims he was abusing pills and alcohol during that time
Pharrell Williams, who produced the song and was featured along with T.I., has also expressed regret, telling GQ that he’s now “embarrassed” by the track.
Thicke told People earlier this year that he was abusing pills and alcohol during the time “Blurred Lines” came out. He was also going through a divorce with ex-wife Paula Patton, who alleged infidelity, physical abuse and drug use (He has denied the cheating and abuse allegations).
“You don’t realize you’re not in control,” he told People. “Fame and a lot of those things — they got to me. I was in a bad place. I’m happy to have closed that chapter.”
People magazine reached out to Thicke for comment, which he has not returned. However, unless more women surface with similarly disgusting accounts, he’ll probably get off the hook with an apology.