After a Disastrous GQ Interview, Pharrell Williams Defends Himself Against Perjury Allegations

Pharrell Williams responds to the Marvin Gaye Estate’s perjury allegations and demands for millions.

Following a disastrous interview with GQ, Pharrell Williams has returned to court, this time to defend himself against claims that he committed perjury. 

In the cited interview, Williams said that he sometimes “reverse engineers” his own music from tracks that he finds appealing, and that he did so when creating “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke and T.I. in 2013. 

This statement proved significant, as Williams, in defending himself during the long, expensive copyright-infringement lawsuit filed by Marvin Gaye’s estate, said, “I did not go in the studio with the intention of making anything feel like, or to sound like, Marvin Gaye.” 

Upon learning of the admission Pharrell made during the GQ interview, which seems to contradict the statement he offered while under oath, Gaye’s estate filed another lawsuit, seeking reimbursement for legal fees on top of the $5 million awarded by the jury.

Previously, Pharrell had avoided paying for the legal fees accumulated by Gaye’s estate, and it had been determined that he didn’t knowingly violate the copyright.  

In a filing submitted on January 31st, Williams’s attorney refutes each component of the Gaye estate’s claims. It’s noted that because of the time that’s passed since the original ruling, the Gaye estate will need to provide proof not only of perjury, but of “fraud on the court,” which is “an exceedingly strict standard that requires far more than an act of perjury.” 

Next, it’s indicated that Williams’s GQ statements didn’t contradict those he made under oath, and that reverse engineering music isn’t the same as intentionally copying music.

On a similar note, the filing emphasizes that it’s unnecessary to reverse the court’s ruling on legal-fee reimbursements, as the topic had been given much consideration over the course of the original case. 

Marvin Gaye passed away on April 1st, 1984. A biopic about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member’s life is reportedly in the works, and Dr. Dre has been attached to the project.   

At the time of writing, the Gaye estate hadn’t publicly commented on the filing submitted by Williams’s lawyer.