Skip To Content

    A Complete History Of Robin Thicke's Downward Spiral

    In a new deposition the singer admits to drug use, lying. Did "Blurred Lines" actually ruin his life?

    Has any pop star ever been as destroyed by their biggest hit as Robin Thicke?

    Kevork Djansezian / Reuters

    Today, The Hollywood Reporter published Thicke's deposition from a lawsuit filed by Marvin Gaye's children, who claim that "Blurred Lines" is ripping off their father's song, "Got To Give It Up." It gives us a clearer picture of how messy Thicke's life has become.

    Pre-"Blurred Lines," Robin Thicke was an overall well-liked guy with a good voice.

    Noel Vasquez / Getty Images

    Known best early on as actor Alan Thicke’s son, Robin possessed a surprisingly soulful voice. He married actress Paula Patton in 2005.

    His 2007 single "Lost Without You" hit No. 1 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart, and was voted "Sexiest Song of the Year" by People magazine.

    View this video on YouTube

    But Thicke didn't really hit the big time until 2013's "Blurred Lines," which catapulted the mostly under-the-radar singer to superstardom.

    While the song held steady at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart for over 10 weeks, there was a public backlash to the lyrics, which many called out for being "kind of rapey."


    The lyrics were criticized for bearing unsettling similarity to the language many survivors of sexual assault have heard from their abusers.

    Project Unbreakable / Via

    One site paired images from Project Unbreakable, an online photography project of sexual assault survivors holding up signs quoting their attackers, with lyrics from the song to demonstrate why the language of the song was so uncomfortable for women.

    "Because all three of us are happily married with children, we were like, 'We're the perfect guys to make fun of this.'People say, "Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?" I'm like, "Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I've never gotten to do that before. I've always respected women." So we just wanted to turn it over on its head and make people go, "Women and their bodies are beautiful. Men are always gonna want to follow them around."

    But he wasn't on the same page as the video's director, Diane Martel, who called Thicke's comment "crazy."

    Interscope / Via

    "Maybe he wasn’t thinking when he said that," Martel told Grantland in an interview in June 2013.

    "I don’t think the video is sexist," Martel said. "The lyrics are ridiculous, the guys are silly as fuck. That said, I respect women who are watching out for negative images in pop culture and who find the nudity offensive, but I find [the video] meta and playful."

    Then this happened at the MTV VMAs in August.

    MTV / Via

    Afterward, Cyrus explained that both she and Thicke had been in on what went down onstage ("He was in rehearsal as much as I was, and loving it, people," she said on Ellen), Thicke essentially threw the singer under the bus.

    MTV / Via

    "Well, I was on stage, I didn't see it, you know," Thicke said to Oprah in an interview last fall. "So to me, I'm walking out towards Miley, I'm not thinking 'sex,' I'm thinking 'fun.'"

    "So I'm sitting there, I'm looking up to the sky, I'm singing. I'm not really paying attention to all that. That's on her," he said.

    Lets all just take a moment to realize robin thicke is a 36 yr old married man

    Madison Kayyy@madkay97

    Lets all just take a moment to realize robin thicke is a 36 yr old married man

    10:56 PM - 25 Aug 13ReplyRetweetFavorite

    And then there was this photo allegedly taken at a VMA after-party. (Note: Look in the background.)

    Twitter: @JenLeadley

    According to TMZ, sources reported that the VMA performance and the photo above were the catalyst in the downward spiral of Thicke's marriage with Patton.

    Thicke topped off 2013 by being voted sexist of the year by the End Violence Against Women Coalition, thanks to the video for "Blurred Lines."

    In February 2014, he and Patton announced they were separating after eight years of marriage.

    Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

    Thicke made no effort in being quiet about his desire to win his wife back.

    TMZ / Via

    Days after his separation was announced, Thicke told TMZ he was trying to "get her back," and told a concert audience that Patton had told him to "go out there and tell them the truth."

    Thicke dedicated his seventh album to Patton, titling it Paula.

    Star Trak

    The album sold only 24,000 copies in the U.S.

    Not only was the album a flop, it also came off as kind of disturbing. The Atlantic called it "one of the creepiest albums ever made."

    Promoting the album, Thicke showed little respect for Patton's privacy, engaging in extremely public and embarrassing stunts like projecting her photo behind him during his performance at the BET Awards.

    This June, a Twitter Q&A session with VH1 went awry after the #AskThicke hashtag was flooded with questions about misogyny in both Thicke's personal life and his music.

    Have a burning question for @robinthicke? Submit your ?s for tomorrow's Twitter Q+A using #AskThicke!


    Have a burning question for @robinthicke? Submit your ?s for tomorrow's Twitter Q+A using #AskThicke!

    5:34 PM - 30 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    On top of the public backlash and his divorce, Thicke’s been in the middle of a lawsuit — he's being sued by Marvin Gaye’s family, who allege that the singer ripped off Gaye’s 1977 song, “Got To Give It Up.”

    Pictorial Parade / Getty Images

    The Hollywood Reporter has obtained transcripts of both his and Pharrell's depositions from April, and they are an eye-opening look into Thicke's life.

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images for BET

    During the deposition, Thicke admitted to drug abuse, at one point saying, "With all due respect, I was high and drunk every time I did an interview last year."

    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."

    When asked why he said he previously took credit for the song, Thicke replied that he was "jealous" of Pharrell.

    Interscope / Via
    Q: Why did you say it if it's not true?Thicke: Because after making six albums that I wrote and produced myself, the biggest hit of my career was written and produced by somebody else and I was jealous and I wanted some of the credit.

    When asked whether he was an honest person, Thicke said, "I told my wife the truth. That's why she left me."

    Star Trak

    One decade, so many disasters.

    Star Trak