Emily Ratajkowski: ‘I would not be famous’ if I had spoken up about Robin Thicke

Model/actress Emily Ratajkowski arrives at the 13th Annual GO Campaign Gala 2019 held at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 16, 2019 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States.

Emily Ratajkowski has written a book, and in the first excerpt from the book, she told the story about how Robin Thicke sexually assaulted her on the set of the music video for “Blurred Lines.” The director of the video Diane Martel saw Thicke grope Emily and Martel backed up Emily (then and now). Emily was a little-known model with zero power at the time, but she became a “household name” because of that video, and she got lots of work out of it. She was asked this week why she didn’t talk about the assault at the time.

Emily Ratajkowski had big dreams of being famous — so she kept quiet about Robin Thicke allegedly groping her breast on the set of his “Blurred Lines” music video. The model, who is promoting her new book of essays, “My Body,” told People she knew she wouldn’t have become successful if she vocalized her accusations when it happened.

“I was an unknown model, and if I had spoken out or complained, I would not be where I am today; I would not be famous,” Ratajkowski, 30, told the mag at the CoinGeek Conference cocktail party Monday. The Sports Illustrated stunner said she decided to detail the alleged incident in her book because she has evolved over the years and hopes her fans will understand.

“I wrote a book about the evolution of my politics, and that includes a lot of different experiences from my career and my life, and the way that I felt and thought about those experiences [has] evolved,” she explained. “I hope people are able to read the essay and understand the nuance behind these kinds of situations.”

[From Page Six]

She’s right. In an alternate timeline, if Emily had, what? Spoken up at the time, she would have been “that unnamed model with a story about a famous singer.” If that!! In fact, the reason why Thicke felt so comfortable sexually assaulting her around witnesses is because she wasn’t famous, because she was powerless. Because she now has a profile, because she’s famous and well-known, people take her seriously. Her words carry more weight. In any case, I hate when people get into questions of “why didn’t a victim come forward immediately and blah blah blah??” Because victims process assault differently. And because, as Emily said, who would have really believed her at the time?

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Platinum Jubilee

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, screencaps from ‘Blurred Lines’ video.

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28 Responses to “Emily Ratajkowski: ‘I would not be famous’ if I had spoken up about Robin Thicke”

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  1. Mimi says:

    She’s right tho. She was young and scared. Robin is a creepy POS and always has been

  2. Noki says:

    I am actually sure many people would have believed her but sadly no one would have given her another chance after that.
    Its like Terry Richardson ( why hasnt that slimeball been taken down yet?). He abused all those small town and unknown models and was very careful to not touch the Kendals and Hadids. Smh

    • whatWHAT? says:

      Richardson was a horrible predator, and he should be in jail.

      however, after so many women accused him, he lost most of his jobs with the high fashion mags, and is essentially persona non grata with pretty much everyone. he lives (as the interwebz tell me) “semi-anonymously” in NY state. not nearly good enough…as noted, he belongs in prison, but he is not getting anywhere near the work and fame he used to. so, in one way he has been “taken down”, but not nearly “down” enough, IMO.

  3. corralee says:

    A household name? Her?

    “the reason why Thicke felt so comfortable sexually assaulting her around witnesses is because she wasn’t famous”

    Please, remember when Taylor Swift was groped? Level of fame has nothing to do with it. Men DO NOT CARE. they will do that to anyone.

    • Hell Nah! says:

      @corralee: Like her or not, she is a recognized figure. And she is telling the (sad) truth of exactly what would have happened to her had she spoken up at the time.

      edited to add: that’s a good point re Taylor Swift’s assault.

    • Talia says:

      It’s not that famous women aren’t assaulted, it’s that if they are, they can speak out without destroying their careers. If Emily had spoken out at the time, she’d have been labelled ‘not a team player’ or a ‘troublemaker’ and not booked for subsequent jobs.

      • Sof says:

        I think that unfortunately the consequences depend on the level of fame and power that the abuser has and no so much on the victim.

    • Willow says:

      The guy who groped Taylor was fired after her mother spoke to someone. Even though she said she didn’t want him fired, and only spoke up because she was upset. She didn’t want what he did to her to become public. They fired him anyway. Because she’s a big celebrity and employees like him can ruin your business. If she had been an ordinary person, he would still have his job.

  4. Doodle says:

    I’m not sure if it was so much chasing fame as it was being that “difficult” woman and not being able to book another job. (Responding to a low deleted comment.)

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Yep. There are a lot of new, modern ways to demonize and dismiss young girls and women as spoiled tumlr bitches who need to be put in their place for speaking out about abusive and harmful behavior. For some there’s a dangerous movement behind treating women that way, but even when it doesn’t get to illegal, creepy MRA levels and comes from the left, it can be damaging enough to keep all kinds of things from being addressed for a long time. It’s not made easy for women to speak up for themselves or other women on most subjects. She still gets that to some degree, but it likely would have been harder if she had started out as just the girl accusing Robin Thicke of sexual assault. Plus she may not have been ready to deal with the victim-blaming that would have come with it at the time. Instead of having a career and her message being heard, right then and there she would have been the voiceless, careerless girl turned poster child for immodest women reaping what they sew.

  5. Barbie1 says:

    So sorry for her and Thicke’s ex wife. He turned out to be such an asshole.

    • LoonyTunes says:

      I was so sad when Paula left him, but what the poor woman must’ve endured for years. Wow.

  6. outoftheshadows says:

    She is correct–but it’s a sad price to pay for being famous.

    Honestly though, I’ve known so many women who’ve had to put up with that kind of bullsh** and didn’t end up famous… it’s just endemic to being female.

    I didn’t much like her before this, and I’m not sure her ambition is a desirable quality in a person, but I do respect her for speaking out now and advocating for women.

    Can’t wait until someone calls out this kind of thing in real time and is actually lauded and listened to the minute it happens!

    • TrixC says:

      Yeah, sadly, if you’re a woman calling out sexual harassment/assault at work, at many workplaces that simply gets you labelled as a troublemaker. Even if you’re believed.

  7. Wiglet Watcher says:

    Why he got away with it for so long was probably less because she wasn’t a household name and more because people never told him “no” or taught him how to act respectful. Especially in a professional environment.

    As we’re learning even high profile people are being assaulted and afraid to come forward.

    I dislike the lead of she was a nobody and gained a career out of staying quiet. Did she stay quiet to have a career? A cost of doing business? No. She was like any other victim. Simply afraid and unable to fully process what happened until a long time later.

  8. Bettyrose says:

    She would’ve been accused of trying to get attention or make a name for herself with the accusations. That’s the ole standby anytime a famous or powerful man is called out on predatory behavior.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Yes, and she would have disappeared from becoming the model she wanted to be. I wish there was no statute limitations on rape or any other assault against women when it’s incredibly traumatic. But I know that’s not the law. We have difficulty processing trauma, like rape.

  9. Lucy2 says:

    Unfortunately she’s right. He would have probably tried to pay her off to stay quiet, and destroyed any hopes of a career.

  10. OriginalLala says:

    I’m happy she is speaking now – I remember when so many survivors (like THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS) were speaking out about Blurred Lines, talking about the toxic, abusive. triggering message, and the sexist way women were portrayed in the video – she defended it loudly, with her whole chest. I found it hard to take at the time and I’m happy she is able to be open about the reality now.

  11. Sof says:

    Now it makes sense why she spent all those years insisting that being naked empowered her, when most people feel vulnerable. Perhaps she was trying to change the narrative of what had happened to her.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Not necessarily, since her feelings about female modesty and victim-blaming began long before that video. But maybe we’ll learn more when the full book is out, and she’ll let us know whether it was easier, or harder, for her to say the things she needed to about slut-shaming and victim-blaming.

  12. AmelieOriginal says:

    She is sadly correct. Had she spoken up at the height of the popularity of that song/video, Robin Thicke probably would have been super defensive and dragged her name through the mud, along with the other performers in the song (T.I. and Pharrell). Paula Patton probably would have gotten involved. Her career has kind of stalled from what I’ve seen but she got so many opportunities from being in that video and none of that would have happened had she talked about this. I’m glad she felt brave enough to come forward now and that the video director is backing her up (I read the background on the Blurred Lines video and the idea to do a nude video was apparently the director’s idea but who knows). Robin Thicke is such a creep.

  13. Otaku fairy says:

    It’s so important for all women and all queer people- not just ones who meet certain conservative-approved criteria- to be able to openly discuss difficult experiences without being shamed. Whether it’s physical or sexual assault, stds, abortion, racism, psychological and emotional abuse, or mental health issues. Nobody should have to worry about experiences like that being used in liberal or feminist spaces to reinforce harmful stigmas or “See? The pendulum! WE were right to treat them that ways.”
    This had to have been hard for her, especially after being Chrissy Teiganed for several years too. She has spoken out against the way immodest women are treated while actually being one of them, and neither side handles that very well in practice. Even though it’s easy for many on the left to *say* in theory that the woman in the revealing outfit (or less) is no more responsible for another person’s crappy or violent behavior than the virgin in the modest outfit. But at least on the left, more people are willing to try. To work on it. Which is always a good thing. Glad she could share something like this now.

  14. tealily says:

    The thing that kills me is how could it be more in the open than this? Y’know? Creeper song, creeper video, and yet still a massive hit. How does this continue to happen over and over and over?

  15. frenchtoast says:

    She also published one of her essay about a predatory photographer before this was leaked out of her book.