LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - R&B singer Robin Thicke said he was high on painkillers and alcohol in 2013 when “Blurred Lines” became a hit, and he exaggerated his contribution to writing the song, according to court papers filed on Monday.
Thicke, 37, said in a deposition in April that he had been largely absent during the composition of “Blurred Lines,” due to being under the influence of opioid painkiller Vicodin mixed with alcohol.
“I had a drug and alcohol problem for the year and I didn’t do a sober interview. So I don’t recall many things that I said,” Thicke said in the deposition. He added that he was no longer taking Vicodin.
The song was created by R&B artist and producer Pharrell Williams, who said in deposition two days before Thicke’s that he had composed the melody and written the lyrics for the hit, and that Thicke had “embellished” the origins of the song.
The previously sealed depositions were filed in Los Angeles federal court on Monday in connection with a lawsuit by the estate of late soul singer Marvin Gaye against Thicke and Williams, accusing them of stealing from the Motown legend’s 1977 song “Got to Give it Up.”
Thicke’s attorney Howard King said in a statement on Monday that the release of the deposition was aimed at “diverting attention from the obvious weakness of their legal claim.”
Representatives for Williams did not respond to requests for comment.
While Thicke and Williams both denied any similarities or copyright infringement of Gaye’s work, Thicke, a music producer and singer, said he was “envious” of Williams creating the song that would become his breakout into the mainstream pop industry.
“The biggest hit of my career was written and produced by somebody else, and I was jealous and I wanted some of the credit,” Thicke said.
The singer caused a sensation with a raunchy performance of “Blurred Lines” at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards with Miley Cyrus and was nominated for three Grammy awards this year, including record of the year for “Blurred Lines.”
As the song became more popular, Thicke said, “I started kind of convincing myself that I was a little more part of it than I was.”
The deposition sheds light on a tumultuous year for Thicke, in which he separated from his actress wife Paula Patton, which he referenced while being questioned.
When asked if he considered himself to be an honest person, Thicke answered “No. That’s why I‘m separated,” adding later “I told my wife the truth. That’s why she left me.” When asked if he was dishonest in interviews, he said, “I tell whatever I want to say to help sell records.”
Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Mary Milliken and Cynthia Osterman