Even for the Robin Thicke haters, things are starting to get a little tragic.
Three months after the release of Paula, an album meant to win back his wife which amounted to a historic flop both in sales and Thicke's personal life, the lawsuit against Thicke's top-selling but most-hated song, "Blurred Lines," has come to a nasty head. In a deposition from April published Monday by the Hollywood Reporter, Thicke revealed that he had lied extensively to the media about his involvement in the song's authorship and offered his drug problem as an excuse.
Q: Were you present during the creation of 'Blurred Lines'?
Thicke: I was present. Obviously, I sang it. I had to be there.
Q: When the rhythm track was being created, were you there with Pharrell?
Thicke: 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.
Thicke continues (emphasis ours):
I always prided myself on the fact that I wrote and produced my first six albums myself, and the fact that I was unable to write and produce by myself a record that big and that successful.
Once — once it became successful, I felt like I wanted to have some of the credit for the other six albums' worth of work that I had done, because Pharrell, being such a well-known producer and writer, everybody, as they ended up doing, gave Pharrell most of the credit.
I got credit for being the star of the song, but Pharrell, deservedly so, got the credit for writing and producing the song — the record. And the record would have happened with or without me. I was just lucky enough to be there when he wrote it and I was in the room.
He was granted a cowriting credit, allegedly, because he wanted credit for his biggest hit and likely a larger share of the royalties. This complicates both the public outcry over his alleged creepiness, as well as the ongoing legal battle over the track's origin. After the song's release, the cowriters of "Blurred Lines" sued Marvin Gaye's estate in response to rumors that the family thought it was too similar to Gaye's 1977 song "Got to Give It Up." A year ago this October, Gaye's estate officially sued the writers, trapping both parties in legal hell for the past 12 months.
All this conforms to the public image of Thicke as a lying creep, but there's a deeper layer here, too. Oddly enough, this suggests that Thicke may be less predatory in his attitudes towards women than many thought, at least in this instance. It also publicly, if not legally, absolves him from accusations of plagiarism. In fact, the only thing clear from this deposition is that Thicke has serious issues with substance abuse: He claimed in his deposition that he "didn't do a single interview last year without being high."
This is a man with a drug problem, a deteriorating personal life, a disaster of an album and now a strong legal case brought against him because, for once in his career, he wanted to have a stake in a hit. None of this excuses him, but you can act like a creep and still need help. Thicke sounds like a man in trouble.
Read the whole deposition here.