Soon after enjoying the success of their 2013 single, Blurred Lines, Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke were accused by Marvin Gaye’s family of infringing the copyright of the late singer’s hit, “Got to Give It Up.”
A jury agreed with the Gaye family and the judge ordered Williams and Thicke to pay them nearly $5 million.
But that wasn’t the end of the saga. In December 2019, Gaye’s family filed a motion in federal court accusing Williams of committing perjury during the case.
The plaintiffs cited a GQ interview from November of that year in which Williams said he “reverse engineered” Gaye’s song. They argued that this contradicted his statement during a deposition that he “did not go in the studio with the intention of making anything feel like, or to sound like, Marvin Gaye.”
Bringing the long legal saga to an end, on Friday a California federal judge ruled that Williams’ statements did not show he committed perjury.
“The statements by Williams during the November 2019 Interview were cryptic and amenable to multiple interpretations,” U.S. District Court Judge John Kronstadtwrote. “For these reasons, the Gaye Parties have not shown by clear and compelling evidence that there are sufficiently material inconsistencies between Williams’ statements in the November 2019 Interview and his sworn testimony, to support a finding of perjury.”
According to People, Gaye’s family had been seeking about $3.5 million in attorney fees and costs, which Judge Kronstadt had denied them in the copyright suit. He did, however, award the family damages as well as half of all future royalties for Blurred Lines.