Model/Actress Emily Ratajkowski is not thrilled with how the media has portrayed her sexual assault at the hands of musician Robin Thicke.
Emily waited eight years to tell her story of what happened on the set of the “Blurred Lines” music video and now her story has been hijacked.
Emily decided to speak out about the groping incident for the first time in her upcoming book of essays, My Body. So when The Sunday Times published an excerpt from the book that focused on the assault, she was taken aback.
Speaking with Extra, she explained,
“What’s frustrating is I didn’t come out with it, it was leaked.”
“I feel like it turns into a clickbait frenzy and all of a sudden words like ‘sexual assault’ and ‘allegations’ are getting thrown around rather than people reading the actual essay.”
For those of you who haven’t yet read all the “clickbait,” the incident in question occurred in 2013. In the excerpt from her book, she explained that, while the actual music video shoot was fun, things went awry once the cameras shut off. She recalled,
“Suddenly, 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. [The director, Diane Martel’s] voice cracked as she yelled out to me, ‘Are you okay?'”
Director Diane Martel corroborated Emily’s story, telling The Sunday Times,
“I screamed in my very aggressive Brooklyn voice, ‘What the f— are you doing, that’s it!! The shoot is over!!’ Robin sheepishly apologized. As if he knew it was wrong without understanding how it might have felt for Emily.”
At the time, Emily tried hard to shrug it off, even though she felt completely violated. She wrote,
“I pushed my chin forward and shrugged, avoiding eye contact, feeling the heat of humiliation pump through my body. I didn’t react — not really, not like I should have.”
Looking back, Emily believes that had she spoken out at the time, she probably wouldn’t have the career she had today. She told People,
“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.”
Sadly, Emily is not wrong. “Blurred Lines” launched Emily’s career and introduced her to the public. Since the 2013 music video, the model went on to walk in NYFW and Paris Fashion Week for brands like Marc Jacobs, Versace, Miu Miu, and Dolce & Gabbana. She’s also appeared on the covers of British GQ, InStyle UK, and Cosmopolitan, to name a few. She’s also launched her acting career with small roles in Entourage, We Are Your Friends, and I Feel Pretty.
Who knows what would have happened if she had spoken out back in 2013. Robin Thicke could have easily blackballed her. She could have been labeled “difficult”. It’s easy to believe that her career would have stalled.
Although the story of Robin Thicke groping her is already all over the internet, she still hopes that everyone will read her essay and be able to further understand the context.
And, of course, the book will cover much more than just the groping incident. She said,
“Everything I talk about is about the evolution of my politics and it’s not some big reveal, it’s not some crazy thing, it’s a part of a larger essay. I’m just excited for people to hold nuance and understand that.”
Emily Ratajkowski’s book of essays My Body comes out on October 19, 2021. You can pre-order it here.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she’s not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.