Marvin Gaye’s family accuse Pharrell Williams of perjury in ‘Blurred Lines’ lawsuit

They argue Williams has contradicted an earlier statement

The family of the late Marvin Gaye claim that Pharrell Williams committed perjury in court when defending himself in the now infamous ‘Blurred Lines’ vs ‘Got To Give It Up’ lawsuit.

Back in 2015 a federal jury ruled that Robin Thicke and Williams’ 2013 hit single shared similarities to Marvin Gaye‘s ‘Got To Give It Up’ (1977). The two artists were ordered to pay half of the song’s royalties Gaye’s family as well as a one-off payment of $5.3 million (£4 million) in damages.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Gaye family has now filed a fresh motion in which they accuse Williams of perjury after he told GQ last month that he “reverse engineers” the feeling he gets from listening certain music, adding that he “did that in ‘Blurred Lines’ and got myself in trouble.”


In his October 2015 deposition Williams said: “I did not go in the studio with the intention of making anything feel like, or to sound like, Marvin Gaye.”

Pharrell Williams

The Gaye family, represented by litigator Richard Busch, believes Williams’ November 2019 comment constitutes a fraud on the court and evidence of perjury.

As a consequence the Gaye family wants the original judge, US District Court Judge John Kronstad, to revisit his decision to deny an award $3.5 million (£2.6 million) in attorney fees. Their motion stops short, however, of requesting new criminal prosecution.

A motion for relief states: “Williams made intentional, material misrepresentations to the jury and this Court as part of an unconscionable scheme to improperly influence the jury and the Court in their decisions.

“Nothing was more central to this case than whether ‘Got To’ or Marvin Gaye was on Williams’s mind while he was engaged in creating ‘Blurred.’ That fact was central to the issue of whether Williams and Thicke illegally copied ‘Got To’ and whether their copying was willful, and they knew it. It was also central to their defense of ‘independent creation.’ And it became central in this Court’s analysis of whether to award attorneys’ fees.


“The November 4, 2019 Interview now flies in the face of those previous sworn denials.”

In the same GQ interview Williams spoke about how hurt he was by the 2015 ruling.

“It hurt my feelings because I would never take anything from anyone. And that really set me back,” the star explained.

After the interviewer, the record producer Rick Rubin, argued that ‘Blurred Lines’ sounded “nothing like” ‘Got To Give It Up’, Williams replied: “Nope. But the feeling was. You can’t copyright a feeling… All salsa songs sound pretty much the same.”

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