When “Blurred Lines” came out, the song was largely criticized for its alarming lyrics that seem to be about not respecting consent. The music video introduced Emily Ratajkowski to a wider audience and turned her into a star, however she’s previously made a point to say she doesn’t stand by the video or the song, and even referred to it as “the bane of [her] existence” back in 2015. Now, Ratajkowski is ready to speak up about an alarming situation on the music video’s set where Thicke allegedly groped her without consent.
The Sunday Times published an excerpt from Ratajkowski’s upcoming memoir, My Body, where the model detailed Thicke’s alleged actions. (The A.V. Club also received an advance copy.) In My Body, the model writes about finding out Thicke blocked her on social media. At time, she says she “racked [her] brain” trying to figure out why, and then realized it was his way of acknowledging “he did something he wasn’t supposed to do.”
As the Times reports, Thicke allegedly returned to the “Blurred Lines” set “a little drunk” to shoot a scene with her alone. “Suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt the coolness and foreignness of a stranger’s hands cupping my bare breasts from behind. I instinctively moved away, looking back at Robin Thicke,” writes Ratajkowski in the book. “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?’” After that, the director set a “no touching” rule.
“I wondered: What if I had yelled at Robin Thicke’s face and made a scene? Stopped the shoot? Maybe my big break never would’ve happened,” Ratajkowski continues.
Ratajkowski had initially felt safe on set because she was working with a team of women, but Thicke’s actions ruined that sense of security: “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.”
Martel confirmed to the Times that Thicke touched Ratajkowski’s breasts without consent. “I remember the moment that he grabbed her breasts. One in each hand. He was standing behind her as they were both in profile,” she recalled. “I screamed in my very aggressive Brooklyn voice, ‘What the fuck are you doing, that’s it!! The shoot is over!!’ Robin sheepishly apologized. As if he knew it was wrong without understanding how it might have felt for Emily.” She also adds that she doesn’t believe Thicke “would have done this had he been sober.”
The Times made “multiple attempts” to contact Thicke’s representatives but they haven’t responded to the allegations yet.