alleges in her new book that Robin Thicke sexually assaulted her on the set of the Blurred Lines music video in 2013 — but she insists that she doesn’t believe in ‘canceling’ him and doesn’t even think he’s a bad guy.
The 30-year-old model — whose book of essays, My Body, was released on Tuesday — reflected on the uncomfortable moment when Robin, 44, drunkenly put his hands on her bare breasts during the shoot, admitting on a new episode of the podcast that she’d pushed the memory from her mind for many years.
But though she chose to include it in the second chapter of her book, Emily said she had no intention of encouraging fans to cancel Robin, and she is sure he has plenty of good qualities.
‘I don’t believe in canceling someone,’ she said. ‘I’m sure that Robin Thicke has a lot of wonderful things about him. I don’t believe in good guys and bad guys. I think our world needs to understand that we live in a culture that allows for men to feel they can behave a certain way.
‘It doesn’t mean that just because this person did this one thing, or didn’t do this one thing, that they’re good or bad,’ she said.
Good and bad in everyone: Emily Ratajkowski alledges in her new book that Robin Thicke sexually assaulted her in 2013 -but she insists that she doesn’t believe in ‘canceling’ him
No touching: She accused him of groping her bare breasts while they were filming the music video for his hit Blurred Lines
Emily writes about the alleged sexual assault in her new book, a passage of which was leaked last month.
‘Suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt the coolness and foreignness of a stranger’s hands cupping my bare breasts from behind,’ she wrote of the incident. ‘I instinctively moved away, looking back at Robin Thicke.
On sale now: The 30-year-old model’s book of essays, My Body, was released on Tuesday
‘He smiled a goofy grin and stumbled backward, his eyes concealed behind his sunglasses,’ she wrote. ‘My head turned to the darkness beyond the set. [Director Diane Martel’s] voice cracked as she yelled out to me, ‘Are you okay?»
She said she felt ‘the heat of humiliation pump through’ her body after the alleged fondling and suddenly ‘felt naked for the first time that day.’
Speaking to Call Her Daddy’s Alex Cooper, Emily elaborated on the experience, revealing that she almost didn’t take the job in the first place.
‘So I got this offer for this music video, and I was like, OK, the money’s not good enough, and I’d have to be naked in a music video, and I don’t even know who Robin Thicke is,’ she said.
But director Diane Martel was ‘really cool’ so she accepted — and first, she was glad she did. She said the set had a ‘really different vibe’ from other jobs she was doing, and she wasn’t treated like a ‘mannequin’ like she usually was. There were a lot of nice women on set, and she felt relaxed and comfortable.
‘He was kind of drunk, and he was in a little bit of a not great mood, and we were shooting by ourselves, and he put his hands on my breasts really quickly,’ she said
Compartmentalizing? She somehow pushed the incident from her mind, admitting there was some type of disassociation about it for years
‘So that’s why when a lot of people would say to me, «Oh, this video’s misogynistic, why did you decide to do it? Aren’t you kind of embarrassed?» I was like, «Get off my back, f*** off, it was my choice, and I did feel powerful in that moment. And guess what? Now I’m famous. And making more money than I definitely did then. So how can you say I’m not empowered?»‘ she said.
She said Robin didn’t grab her breasts until later in the day.
‘He was kind of drunk, and he was in a little bit of a not great mood, and we were shooting by ourselves, and he put his hands on my breasts really quickly,’ she said.
‘And then I think I just moved away and stopped the music, and there was this sort of weird moment, and then we kept shooting.’
In her book, Emily wrote: ‘I pushed my chin forward and shrugged, avoiding eye contact, feeling the heat of humiliation pump through my body.’
She somehow pushed the incident from her mind, admitting there was some type of disassociation about it for years — until she discovered that Robin had blocked her on Instagram.
‘One day I was just laying in bed and went to Robin Thicke’s Instagram, because I think his girlfriend had gotten pregnant. He was on E! News. And I was blocked. Am I’m like, why am I blocked?’ she said.
She spent a moment wondering why before she suddenly remembered the assault.
‘The fact that I didn’t remember that, and didn’t let myself think of that, and was almost defiant … I couldn’t have complained in that moment. I was 21, I was an actual nobody. A person on a wall in a modeling agency,’ she said.
‘I didn’t complain and I just went home and I didn’t tell anyone about it really.’
That was one of several instances from Emily’s life that she said she began seeing with a new lens as she got older, realizing they were more ‘complicated’ than she wanted to remember they were.
But she admitted she still didn’t really want to include what happened in her book.
‘Blurred Lines is something that I didn’t want to write about at all,’ she said. ‘I feel like I’ve spent my entire career trying not to be the girl from that video. So to just open up that can of worms and be like, let’s talk about it, went against every instinct that I had.
‘The truth is, the reason that I wrote about it is it’s something that I had just completely put into a certain category, and box, and talked about in a way, and didn’t even fully remember the experience,’ she said.
Part of why she didn’t want to write about it is because she knew there would be a ‘disgusting’ reaction to her story, with people arguing that she couldn’t expect any different because she was nude in a music video — or questioning why she waited so long to speak up.
‘Blurred Lines is something that I didn’t want to write about at all,’ she said. ‘I feel like I’ve spent my entire career trying not to be the girl from that video’ (Robin pictured in 2019)
But this way, in her book, she got to tell the story exactly how she wanted to.
‘The reason that I didn’t just, like, be like, «press release everyone!» [was] I wanted it to be in my own words, and in a 5,000 word essay that really explains all the aspects of that day — the parts that were good, the parts that were bad, and what this meant to me and why it was so defining to me, and sort of a huge part of the evolution of my politics and my beliefs,’ she said.
As for how she feels about the song, she said her reaction has changed over time. When it was still popular and it would come on at a wedding or a bar, Emily said everyone would gasp and look at her, so she’d go somewhere like the bathroom.
She said she doesn’t know if she would walk out because of that attention or, in part, because she was ‘remembering the experience in some way and feeling something.’
These days, she doesn’t care anymore.
‘You know what, it’s catchy… I don’t know what to say,’ she said.
After Emily’s essay was leaked, Martel, the video’s director, confirmed her account to the .
Victim-blaming: Part of why she didn’t want to write about it is because she knew there would be a ‘disgusting’ reaction to her story, with people arguing that she couldn’t expect any different because she was nude in a music video
‘I wanted it to be in my own words, and in a 5,000 word essay that really explains all the aspects of that day,’ she said
‘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.
‘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 Emily as ‘very professional’ and ‘the star of the video.’
‘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 shpe and ferocious energy. She’s playful, not seductive. And quite hilarious.’
‘I had a hard time writing that essay for a bunch of different reasons,’ Emily wrote during an Instagram Q&A last month
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.
Emily wrote: ‘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.’
Emily later discussed the chapter more on Instagram.
‘I had a hard time writing that essay for a bunch of different reasons,’ Emily began, adding that ‘most of my jobs at that point kind of sucked.’
‘I was either shooting e-commerce for online stores where I felt like nothing more than a mannequin or I’d be in lingerie while some middle aged male photographer’s [sic] told me to pout,’ she recalled in the essay.
She thought Blurred Lines ‘was different’ because she ‘was surrounded by women I liked and trusted’ and she actually ‘had fun on set.’
Objectified: Emily also opened up about how she has spent her life combatting men treating her like an object, admitting she feels conflicted about it because it has ‘advantages’
She continued: ‘Being a sexy girl in a music video made me feel hot and cool and powerful. I told the world that the experience was empowering. In many ways it was.’
On Instagram, she told followers that they’d ‘have to read the essay to fully understand the other sides to my experience.’
On the Call Her Daddy podcast, Emily also opened up about how she has spent her life combatting men treating her like an object, admitting she feels conflicted about it because it has ‘advantages.’
‘Being treated like an object got me my career,’ she said. ‘It’s probably why a lot of people are gonna read my book.
‘That’s, I guess, what I want people to take away. I am not saying to any young girl, don’t capitalize or work it, like commodify your image, commodify your body. It’s definitely one way to succeed in a certain way in this world. It also means all these other things that I’m writing about. That’s the truth. It’s complicated.’
Emily — who had her first child earlier this year and said she definitely wants more — also spoke about being sexualized from a young age.
She said that her mother grew up in a family where she was taught not to say ‘thank you’ when told she was beautiful because she ‘didn’t do anything to deserve it.
Young: Emily — who had her first child earlier this year and said she definitely wants more — also spoke about being sexualized from a young age
‘There was a kind of a shame to being attractive, and you need to work extra hard to prove yourself,’ she said, explaining that when her mother became a parent, she went in the opposite direction, telling her daughter she should ‘never feel ashamed’ of how she looked.
‘She felt like beauty was a way for me to be powerful, because I think she had experienced so much shaming, it felt like a way for her to make me feel special and to protect me,’ she said.
But because she always was particularly beautiful — and looked more grown up than she was — there were uncomfortable moments in her youth.
‘I hit puberty pretty young and got boobs, like before I even knew what sex was I had boobs, and basically looked like a woman but was totally not,’ she said.
‘I have this really visceral memory of, I was doing theater and I was like 12 and I had makeup on because I had been on stage,’ she went on.
‘And we went to dinner, my cousin and my mom and my cousin had a glass of wine and was, like, freaking out, like, «I see men look at her, and it’s not safe.» And I was embarrassed because I didn’t understand that she was trying to protect me.
‘I feel stressed even thinking about it,’ she said.