For the last year or so, Robin Thicke, along with collaborators Pharrell Williams and T.I., have been locked in a nasty legal battle with the estate of Marvin Gaye over whether the trio’s hit single “Blurred Lines” plagiarized Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways”.
In an unexpected twist, Thicke is now distancing himself from the song, claiming that Williams wrote most of “Blurred Lines” on his own.
According to a court deposition obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Thicke admitted to lying about his involvement in the songwriting process out of jealousy. “I was jealous and I wanted some of the credit… I tried to take credit for it later because (Williams) wrote the whole thing pretty much by himself and I was envious of that.”
Thicke went on to claim that a crippling drug addiction to Vicodin and alcohol had limited his involvement in the studio.
“To be honest, that’s the only part where — I was high on vicodin and alcohol when I showed up at the studio. So my recollection is when we made the song, I thought I wanted — I — I wanted to be more involved than I actually was by the time, nine months later, it became a huge hit and I wanted credit. So I started kind of convincing myself that I was a little more part of it than I was and I — because I didn’t want him — I wanted some credit for this big hit. But the reality is, is that Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song.”
Even so, Thicke was given a co-writer credit, entitling him to 18-22 percent of publishing royalties. Thicke added that he lied about his contributions because “he thought it would help sell records.” He also said he doesn’t remember specific comments he made to the media due to his addicition.
Meanwhile, in his own deposition, Williams said he was in the “driver’s seat” of “Blurred Lines” and accepted the notion that the song is his. “This is what happens every day in our industry,” Williams explained. “You know, people are made to look like they have much more authorship in the situation than they actually do. So that’s where the embellishment comes in.”
However, Williams refuted claims that he intended to make a song similar to Gaye’s music. There was also a part of the deposition in which Williams is asked if he can read music. However, when asked to identify certain notes, Williams repeatedly responded, “I’m not comfortable.”
Below, revisit the video for “Blurred Lines”.