Robin Thicke Opens Up About Past Mistakes, Plagiarism & Paula

Photo: James McCauley/Rex/REX USA
Wondering why you haven't seen Robin Thicke scurrying around on-stage in a Beetlejuice costume lately? After definitively splitting with wife Paula Patton, Thicke — along with Pharrell Williams — was found guilty of plagiarizing Motown icon Marvin Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up" this spring. The "Blurred Lines" duo was ordered to pay $7.4 million in damages, and Thicke is currently in the process of preparing his appeal.

Of course, that's not all he's been up to. The fallen R & B star has self-reportedly been spending a lot of time with his young son, and generally healing from the fallout of the last two years. The singer recently gave an interview to The New York Times, opening up about his past mistakes and how he's making amends in the present. And — for the first time in a long time — he seems less like an arrogant clown and more like a man truly trying reflect on and atone for what's gone wrong. Check out our favorite highlights from the Q&A, below.

On why his version of who wrote "Blurred Lines" was so erratic:
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... 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."

On the difference between stealing from another artist and drawing inspiration:
"It comes right down to knowing the difference between being inspired and stealing. Why would I want to, or have to, steal from anybody to make my music? Inspiration can be subliminal. As a songwriter, you’re obviously trying to create a brand-new feeling that comes from your heart. But you can’t help but be inspired by all of the greatness that came before you."

On why he decided to step out of the limelight for awhile:
"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."

On what he would change about his 2014 album "Paula":
"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."

On what finally helped him pull through and make positive decisions:
"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." (The New York Times)


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