Starring in Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines” video in 2013 catapulted her to a new level of fame. Which, naturally, was a mixed bag as debate ensued (mostly online) as to whether the video was misogynistic, and Ratajkowski became inextricably linked both to her unclothed performance and the controversy.
She defended the video then, saying that she had a good time making it and felt perfectly safe on set “being in the company of many women I trusted and liked.”
It wasn’t until Ratajkowski learned that Thicke was expecting a baby with his fiancée April Love Geary and went to his Instagram, only to find out she appeared to be blocked, that it clicked into place: She hadn’t done anything to offend, but on the set of “Blurred Lines,” she writes, “He did something he wasn’t supposed to do.” She alleges that the singer was “a little drunk” on set and, while she was dancing “as ridiculously as possible,” she felt cold hands cupping her bare breasts from behind. Thicke “smiled a goofy grin and stumbled backward, his eyes concealed behind his sunglasses,” she writes.
There was an awkward pause and Diane Martel, the director, asked if she was OK, and she recalls nodding, and maybe even smiling to insist she was alright. But in reality she was shocked and didn’t really know what to do. She didn’t react “like I should have,” she recalls, nor did any of the other ladies on set. They just kept shooting.
A rep for Thicke did not return requests for comment when this anecdote from the book made news before its release. Martel backed up Ratajkowski’s account of being groped to the Sunday Times in the U.K. But Ratajkowski clarified to Vanity Fair in October that she wasn’t coming forward, so to speak.
“It’s been a little strange to have even people who are well-meaning come up to me and say, ‘I’m so glad you spoke out about Robin Thicke,'” she said. “And it’s like, well, no, I didn’t speak out. And that’s not at all the message behind this. It wasn’t about ‘I need to tell my story of sexual assault’ because that’s just not even how I see it.”
She added, “The part that not a lot of people are focusing on is that I really was enjoying myself…Also this other thing happened and that says something about the world we live in. Both things exist at the same time.”