Emily Ratajkowski has revealed that she waited almost ten years to publicly accuse Robin Thicke of sexually assaulting her on the set of his Blurred Lines video out of fear that ‘complaining’ about the singer would damage her career and her dreams of becoming ‘famous’.
The 30-year-old supermodel has accused Thicke, 44, of groping her bare breasts while they were filming the music video for his controversial hit back in 2013, publishing her claims in an upcoming book, My Body, and alleging that the singer was ‘a little drunk’ when he ‘cupped’ her chest with his hands.
Ratajkowski’s recollection of the assault was made public on Saturday and she has now broken her silence on the controversy for the first time, telling People that she kept quiet about the incident for so many years because she was an ‘unknown model’ at the time and didn’t want to do anything that might ruin her career.
‘I was an unknown model and if I had spoken out or complained, I would not be where I am today, I would not be famous,’ she told the publication at an event on Monday night.
Speaking out: Emily Ratajkowski has broken her silence on her bombshell allegation that Robin Thicke sexually assaulted her on the set of his Blurred Lines music video in 2013
In an excerpt from her upcoming book My Body, Ratajkowski, 30, alleges that Thicke, 44, groped her bare breasts while they were filming the music video for his controversial hit
She added that her decision to speak out about Thicke’s behavior came as a result of her personal ‘evolution’, saying: ‘I wrote a book about the evolution of my politics and that includes a lot of different experiences from my career and my life and the way that I felt and thought about those experiences have evolved.
‘I hope people are able to read the essay and understand the nuance behind these kinds of situations.’
Ratajkowski’s comments on the incident come days after UK-based publication the Sunday Times published her bombshell allegations about Thicke, who has yet to speak out about the accusations.
But while she says she finally felt ready to share her recollections of the assault, Ratajkowski admitted to Extra that she was ‘frustrated’ about the fact that the excerpts from her book were ‘leaked’ ahead of the official publication date, adding that she feels as though her experiences have been turned into a ‘clickbait frenzy’ as a result.
‘What’s frustrating is I didn’t come out with it, it was leaked,’ she told Extra at the event on Monday.
‘It’s been hard for me, I really like to have control over my image and I wrote this book of essays to share the whole story and all sides of it, and I feel like it turns into a clickbait frenzy and all of a sudden words like “sexual assault” and “allegations” are getting thrown around rather than people reading the actual essay…
‘I’m just looking forward to when people will be able hear things in my own words.’
Recalling the incident in her book, Ratajkowski says the duo were standing alone on the set, with the model appearing naked from the waist up.
According to the model, who was relatively unknown at the time of the video shoot, Thicke appeared to get ‘a little drunk’ during filming, which caused his behavior on-set during the shoot – which was done with an all-female team – to change.
Then, when the pair were shooting a scene together, she says that ‘out of nowhere’ she felt someone’s hands ‘cupping her bare breasts’, before turning around to realize the person was Thicke.
‘Suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt the coolness and foreignness of a stranger’s hands cupping my bare breasts from behind,’ alleges the model-turned-actress.
‘I instinctively moved away, looking back at Robin Thicke.’
Ratajkowski claims the singer-songwriter ‘stumbled backward’ and smiled at her, before the set director – who noticed what had happened – stepped in.
‘He smiled a goofy grin and stumbled backward, his eyes concealed behind his sunglasses,’ she writes.
‘My head turned to the darkness beyond the set. [Director Diane Martel’s] voice cracked as she yelled out to me, “Are you okay?”‘
In the book, Ratajkowski says she felt ‘the heat of humiliation pump through’ her body after the alleged fondling and suddenly ‘felt naked for the first time that day.’
The supermodel broke cover for the first time since her allegations were made public while attending an event in New York City on Monday night
At the event, Ratajkowski revealed that she waited to speak out about the incident out of fear that ‘complaining’ would damage her career
In her book, the supermodel claims the R&B star was a ‘little drunk’ when he sexually assaulted her on set
The supermodel says she didn’t speak out in the moment saying she felt ‘desperate to minimize’ what happened.
‘I pushed my chin forward and shrugged, avoiding eye contact, feeling the heat of humiliation pump through my body,’ the book reads.
‘I didn’t react – not really, not like I should have.’
Ratajkowski, who tied the knot with Uncut Gems producer Sebastian Bear-McClard in 2018 and gave birth to their first child Sylvester Apollo Bear in March, says she is speaking out years later as she didn’t let herself come to terms with what had happened at the time.
She says she was then reminded of the alleged sexual assault when she noticed Thicke had blocked her on Instagram.
DailyMail.com has reached out to representatives for Thicke and Ratajkowski for comment. Multiple attempts by the Times to contact Thicke’s representatives were also unanswered.
Set director Martel confirmed Ratajkowski’s account of the incident in the Times’ report.
‘I remember the moment that he grabbed her breasts, one in each hand,’ she told the paper.
‘He was standing behind her as they were both in profile. I screamed in my very aggressive Brooklyn voice, ‘What the f*** are you doing, that’s it! The shoot is over!”
According to her, Thicke had been drinking and ‘sheepishly’ apologized after the alleged groping incident and acted as if he was ‘contrite’.
‘As if he knew it was wrong without understanding how it might have felt for Emily,’ she said.
Martel said she believes Thicke’s actions were spurred by his drunken state.
Thicke has yet to publicly address Ratajkowski’s allegations, however he broke cover for the first time on Sunday, stepping out for a shopping trip with his fiancee and kids
The singer was pictured with fiancee April Love Geary and two of their three children at a 99c store in Los Angeles. The couple got engaged in December 2018, four years after meeting
‘I don’t think he would have done this had he been sober,’ she said.
Martel said she halted the shoot and told the record company it was over but the alleged victim ‘said we could go on’.
The director described Ratajkowski as ‘very professional’ and ‘the star of the video.’
THE TROUBLED HISTORY OF BLURRED LINES FROM ‘PROMOTION OF RAPE CULTURE’ TO PLAGARIZM
‘Promoting rape culture’
The explicit video and the lyrics for Blurred Lines sparked instant controversy on its 2013 release.
The video shows the three models semi-naked being pursued by fully-clothed men.
A second cut was then released a week after the original that included topless footage of the three models.
Meanwhile, lyrics in the song included ‘I hate these blurred lines, I know you want it’ and ‘Must wanna get nasty’.
Rape victims said the lyrics were similar to those spoken by their attackers and both the video and song was slammed for promoting rape culture, sexism and the objectification of women.
This February, Thicke claimed there was ‘no negative intentions’ with the nature of the video and lyrics but admitted he wouldn’t release it today.
Plagiarizing Marvin Gaye
Blurred Lines also proved to be trouble for Thicke and his collaborators from a financial sense.
In 2015, the estate of the late singer Marvin Gay won a $5.3 million judgment against him and Pharrell Williams after accusing them of lifting passages from Gaye’s song Got To Give It Up, from 1977.
Thicke claimed in court he had not actually written any of Blurred Lines, despite being listed as a songwriter.
A federal jury found the pair guilty of copyright infringement.
A panel of judges upheld the decision on appeal.
Marvin Gaye’s daughter Nona Gaye outside LA court following the ruling
‘We kept on and Emily was phenomenal. She’s really the star of the video,’ she said.
‘She’s fully mocking him and the male gaze with her beautiful shape and ferocious energy.
‘She’s playful, not seductive. And quite hilarious.’
However, she lamented that Thicke’s actions undermined the feeling of female empowerment she had hoped to create on the set.
The aim had been to flip the gender power roles on their heads with semi-naked women spurning the advances of the men.
‘With that one gesture, Robin Thicke had reminded everyone on set that we women weren’t actually in charge,’ she said.
‘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.’
Thicke is currently signed to Roc Nation, the record label and management agency founded by Jay-Z in 2008 – however the company has yet to issue a comment on the controversy.
At the time of the video shoot, Thicke was married to actress Paula Patton, with whom he shares an 11-year-old son, Julian Fuego Thicke.
The two separated in 2014, and Patton cited in her divorce filing his alleged abuse toward her, as well as drug abuse and infidelity as reasons for their separation. Much like Thicke and Geary, Patton has kept silent about the accusations against her ex-husband.
While her allegations in My Body mark the first time Ratajkowski has spoken out about the alleged groping incident, the 30-year-old has described the Blurred Lines video as the ‘bane’ of her ‘existence.’
‘I wasn’t into the idea at all at first. I think I came off as a bit annoyed in the video,’ she admitted in a 2015 profile for InStyle UK.
‘Now, it’s the bane of my existence. When anyone comes up to me about Blurred Lines, I’m like, are we seriously talking about a video from three years ago?’
This isn’t the first time Thicke has been accused of groping a woman.
In 2013, a socialite posted a photo of the married singer groping her butt on her Instagram page at a party following the MTV VMAs. Thicke’s wife was also at the party at the time.
Lana Scolaro, then a student living in New York City, did not seem concerned about the grab, and in 2014 – after Thicke split with his first wife Paula Patton – told TMZ ‘I’d love to grab a drink with him if he asked’.
Blurred Lines went to number one worldwide but it was the video of the three semi-naked models – Ratajkowski, Elle Evans and Jessi M’Bengue – along with Thicke, Pharrell Williams and rapper T.I. that captured the most attention.
While the initial version of the video didn’t feature nudity, Thicke released a second cut a week later that included topless footage of the three models.
The explicit video and the song’s lyrics – which included ‘I hate these blurred lines, I know you want it’ and ‘Must wanna get nasty’ – sparked instant controversy.
Rape victims said the lyrics were similar to those spoken by their attackers and it was slammed for promoting rape culture, sexism and the objectification of women.
Thicke shared a video of himself watch The Little Mermaid with his children on Saturday, hours after Ratajkowski’s allegations were published
This isn’t the first time Thicke has been accused of groping a woman. In 2013, a socialite posted an Instagram photo of the then-married singer groping her butt at a party
Thicke was married to Paula Patton (left) at the time of the shoot but they split in 2014, with the actress citing his alleged abuse as a reason for the divorce. He’s now engaged to Geary (right)
This February, Thicke claimed there was ‘no negative intentions’ with the nature of the video and lyrics but admitted he wouldn’t release a song like it today.
‘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,’ he said.
‘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!’
But, despite the controversy, Blurred Lines video catapulted both Ratajkowski and Thicke further into the spotlight.
Ratajkowski has since expanded from modeling into acting, and now writing.
She is also an advocate for women’s health issues.
Meanwhile, the song launched Thicke’s music career.
In February of this year, he returned with his eighth studio album On Earth, And In Heaven, and is also a judge on The Masked Singer.
Following the break-up of his marriage, Thicke has kept a lower profile.
He moved on with April Love Geary, whom he reportedly met in 2014.
They welcomed their first daughter, three-year-old Mia Love, in 2018, and they got engaged on Christmas Eve of that year.
Their second daughter, Lola Alain, was born in February 2019, and April gave birth to a son, Luca, in December of 2020.
Ratajkowski’s book My Body is a series of essays chronicling moments in her life an career ‘while investigating the culture’s fetishization of girls and female beauty, its obsession with and contempt for women’s sexuality, the perverse dynamics of the fashion and film industries, and the grey area between consent and abuse.’
It is described as a ‘deeply honest investigation of what it means to be a woman and a commodity from Emily Ratajkowski, the archetypal, multi-hyphenate celebrity of our time.’
The book, published by Macmillan Publishers, will be released on November 9.
Blurred Lines also proved to be trouble for Thicke and his collaborators from a financial sense.
In 2015, the estate of the late singer Marvin Gay won a $5.3 million judgment against him and Farrell after accusing them of lifting passages of Blurred Lines from Gaye’s song Got To Give It Up, from 1977.
Thicke claimed in court that he had not actually written any of Blurred Lines, despite being listed on the project as a songwriter.
At the time of the original ruling that Williams and Thicke had plagiarized the song, some legal scholars and copyright experts excoriated the decision, claiming that it was based on a general feeling that the two songs were similar, rather than being focused on specific musical aspects that they shared.
In a 2015 piece for The New Yorker, legal scholar Tim Wu wrote that the decision was a ‘serious error’ because it focused on superficial similarities.
‘The Gaye estate’s copyright covers only the notes of his song (the composition), and not the way it was played (the sound recording). These copyrights are separate,’ Wu wrote.
He claimed the judge was ‘legally obliged to throw out the case,’ rather than letting the jury come to its original conclusion, as the note sequences in Blurred Lines aren’t shared with Got To Give It Up, even though the two songs sound similar to many listeners.
However, a panel of judges mostly upheld the decision on appeal.