Robin Thicke Admits He’s Now Embarrassed by His Numerous Attempts to Win Back Paula Patton
For a good part of last year, Robin Thicke’s thirst for his ex Paula Patton was too real, and honestly his attempts to try and win her back (aka his Paula Patton Apology Tour of 2014) were very painful to watch.
Thicke admits that while at the time he thought he was being “romantic,” he now finds his overtures “embarrassing.”
High school sweethearts Thicke and Patton separated in February 2014, and their divorce was finalized on May 20, 2015. He has since been keeping a low-profile, thought he’s often spotted with his 20-year-old girlfriend April Love Geary by his side.
There’s a thing that Marcel Proust referred to as supersaturation. When the past, present, and future all become very clear and high-definition and surround-sound in one moment. My supersaturation came right after I performed on the BET Awards [in June 2014]. I dedicated the performance [of the song “Forever Love”] to my ex. And I came home, and my best friend of 20 years, Craig Crawford, said, “I saw your BET performance.” And I said: “Oh yeah! What did you think?” You know — excited. And he goes: “I gotta be honest with you, buddy. You’re kind of playing yourself. You look like a sucker.”
And it hit me that I’d lost my perspective. What I thought was romantic was just embarrassing. And he said, “You should just go away for a while.” So I shut everything down. I took some time off to be with my son, and to be with my family and close friends. And the more time I took off, the more everything became clear.
On his album Paula, which was released around the time of their breakup and may or may not have been the most embarrassing part of his apology tour (never forget: he publicly professed his love for her many times during concerts, interviews, etc. so an album with songs written in dedication to her isn’t exactly the tip of the iceberg), and whether the gesture was “romantic” or “embarrassing,” Thicke commented:
Look, my songwriting has always been autobiographical, and always will be. The “Paula” album was no different. I was struggling through my toughest time, and I decided to share it. And I remember my team and my record company didn’t want me to put it out, but they stuck by me. In hindsight, the only thing I would have done differently was, I wouldn’t have promoted it or sold it. I would have given it away. That would have kept the purity of the message intact.
Aside from his marital problems, struggles with Vicodin and alcohol, and his album Paula (in dedicated to his estranged wife) being a total flop, Thicke, along with Pharrell, was embattled in a huge copyright infringement lawsuit with Marvin Gaye’s estate over their #1 hit song “Blurred Lines” last year. The judge ultimately ruled in favor of Gaye’s heirs, and he and Pharrell were ordered to pay $7.4 million.
He said of his reaction to the verdict, “I was surprised. Very surprised. Obviously, that’s why we’re appealing. I know the difference between inspiration and theft. I’m constantly inspired, but I would never steal. And neither would Pharrell.”
That being said, he was not in a good place during the time of his testimony.
What I will — what I can say — is that when I did the deposition, it was two weeks after my separation from my wife. I was going through personal hell at the time. And I was careless in the deposition. I can’t go into the details of what was said in the deposition beyond that, because of the ongoing litigation…
My personal issues were all that mattered to me at the time. That’s why I use the word “careless” to describe my attitude at the time. Obviously, I didn’t give my all to the trial. It simply wasn’t as important to me as what was going on in my personal life. I was lost at the time. I had lost my way.
[Photo credit: Elizabeth Weinberg for The New York Times]
As for the, ahem, rapey-like candor of “Blurred Lines,” Thicke noted,
Pharrell and I have never and would never write a song with any negative connotation like that. I think the song on its own — I don’t think that would have existed. Once the video came out, that changed the conversation.
The moment when I put my son first in all my movements and decisions is when everything changed for me. I’d been in love with my high school sweetheart for 20 years, and I knew nothing else — and when that fell apart, I lost hope and faith in the good things. And then with some time off to just put my son first, I realized how special my life is, just with him. Everything got better from that moment on. So that’s what my new album is about.
So here’s to looking forward, and continuing his and Pharrell’s appeal in the “Blurred Lines” case.
He says he “can’t speculate” how he’ll approach his appeal, “but I sure hope it comes out a different way for Pharrell and me, and also for the future of creativity. You know, there are friends of mine, other musicians, that have spoken out publicly about this, about the injustice of the decision. Adam Levine, John Legend, Stevie Wonder. Unfortunately, they’re not on the jury.”
Read more about Thicke’s lawsuit during his New York Times interview here.