Marvin Gaye’s family has responded to Robin Thicke’s lawsuit over his hit song, “Blurred Lines.”
Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and Clifford “T.I.” Harris filed the lawsuit after being accused of copying Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” and Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways.” The trio said they “reluctantly file[d] this action in the face of multiple adverse claims from alleged successors in interest to those artists.” They claim that the song doesn’t have any similarities to the two songs “other than commonplace musical elements.”
The Gaye family and Bridgeport, which owns some of Funkadelic’s compositions, felt differently, and threatened to pursue legal action if the trio didn’t pay a monetary settlement. Marvin Gaye III, his wife Wendy, and D’Extra Wiley, a spokesperson for the Gaye estate, appeared on TMZ Live to talk about the lawsuit.
“We’re all fans of Robin Thicke’s, as well as he’s a fan of my father’s. Our point is that there’s a way to do business and a way not to do business. We’re not happy with the way he went about doing the business, let alone suing us over something where he clearly got his inspiration from at the least,” Gaye said.
He added, “That’s caused my family a lot of due duress, and myself also. I’m under kidney failure, as well as I’m promoting my own album. I have better things to do than to be sitting here trying to defend my father’s legacy, which I’m glad to do cause that’s my position.”
Gaye went on to say that anyone who listens to the song would be able to see the similarities between his father’s music and Thicke’s.
“What would he want to be protected from if he didn’t do anything,” he asked.
Gaye said the family is in the process of pursuing their own legal action.
“My counsel is right now in the process of taking care of business, and like I said, once again I’m here to uphold my father’s legacy,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Marvin Gaye III has felt the need to protect his father’s legacy. Gaye has spoken out against a biopic about his father because the “producers and directors… are trying to do a film about a low period in his life.” He threatened to take legal action to halt production of the film, which has already hit several snags, but said he hoped it wouldn’t come to that. He even asked childhood friend Lenny Kravitz not to play his father in the biopic, and he was replaced by Jesse L. Martin.