Em Rata alleges Robin Thicke groped her on Blurred Lines video set

Photo credit: Emma McIntyre - Getty Images
Photo credit: Emma McIntyre - Getty Images

Supermodel Emily Ratajkowski has accused singer Robin Thicke of sexual assault. She alleges that he groped her breasts without consent while the pair were filming the music video for his 2013 song, Blurred Lines.

The 30-year-old made the claims, which were first reported by The Sunday Times over the weekend in her upcoming book, My Body. In her book, Ratajkowsi says Thicke "returned to the set a little drunk to shoot just with me."

She continued: "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. He smiled a goofy grin and stumbled backward, his eyes concealed behind his sunglasses. My head turned to the darkness beyond the set."

Ratajkowski also recalled how she felt "desperate to minimise" the incident. "I pushed my chin forward and shrugged, avoiding eye contact, feeling the heat of humiliation pump through my body," she said, "I didn’t react – not really, not like I should have."

Photo credit: Vevo - YouTube
Photo credit: Vevo - YouTube

Speaking to The Times, the video's director, Diane Martel, said she witnessed the alleged incident. Martel claims she "screamed" at Thicke, and questioned his behaviour.

"I remember the moment that he grabbed her breasts. He was standing behind her as they were both in profile," Martel said. She added that later, Thicke "sheepishly apologised" for his behaviour and praised Ratajkowski’s professionalism for continuing with the shoot.

Martel explained how she intended for the video to subvert power dynamics, by portraying the men in an inferior position to the females on set. But, the video was met with widespread criticism and even banned from some nightclubs and university campuses. Some critics also claimed that the song's lyrics glorified rape culture, particularly Thicke's repeated line, "I know you want it." Singer Pharrell, who also appeared on the track alongside rapper TI, later told GQ magazine that he was "embarrassed" by the lyrics.

In her book, Ratajkowski says Thicke's behaviour undermines Martel's vision of female empowerment. "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."

Speaking about the backlash the video received, Thicke told the BBC in 2013 that critics simply didn't "get" the song. Two years later, in an interview with the New York Times, he said: "I have never and would never write a song with any negative connotation like that."

Cosmopolitan UK has reached out to Robin Thicke's representatives for comment.

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