Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Pharrell Williams cleared of perjury charges in "Blurred Lines" lawsuit

Illustration for article titled Pharrell Williams cleared of perjury charges in "Blurred Lines" lawsuit
Screenshot: UMG

Bet ya didn’t think we’d have a reason to still talk about Robin Thicke, T.I., and producer-slash-co-writer Pharrell Williams’ 2013 creeper anthem “Blurred Lines” eight years later. Time is funny, though, and multiple lawsuits have a way of dragging things out beyond their expiration date. The legal troubles surrounding the ditty appear to be winding down now: According to Okayplayer, the California court has cleared Williams of the lingering perjury charges that were originally filed in 2019.

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Though the main copyright lawsuit filed by Marvin Gaye’s surviving family was settled back in 2015, a new case stemmed from Williams’ conversation with Rick Rubin for GQ. In the interview, Williams said he felt hurt by the verdict and that “Blurred Lines” was not a rip-off of Gaye’s music, but rather a “reverse-engineering” of his work. The family responded to that bold assertion with a lawsuit that accused Williams of committing perjury in the previous case.

“The statements by Williams during the November 2019 interview were cryptic and amenable to multiple interpretations,” United States District Court Judge John Kronstadt wrote in regards to his ruling. “For example, it is unclear what Williams meant by ‘reverse-engineer[ing].’ Read in context, Williams statement about ‘reverse-engineering’ could be interpreted as a process in which he remembers his feelings when listening to particular music, and then attempts to recreate those feelings in his own works.”

Since its release, both Thicke and Williams have denounced “Blurred Lines.” In reference to the song’s lyrics, Williams told GQ that he realized “there are men who use that same language when taking advantage of a woman.” (Imagine!) Thicke recently spoke to the New York Post about the music video—something that he made after he “lost perspective”—which he promised he would never recreate in any form. Let’s hope he sticks to that.