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Remember that sloppy public campaign Robin Thicke launched last year to win back his now ex-wife, Paula Patton? Well, even the singer is admitting he looked like a fool. In an interview with the New York Times, Thicke says a conversation with a friend after a 2014 BET Awards performance is what set him straight.

“My supersaturation came right after I performed on the BET Awards [in June 2014]. I dedicated the performance [of the song ‘Forever Love’] to my ex. And I came home, and my best friend of 20 years, Craig Crawford, said, ‘I saw your BET performance.’ And I said: ‘Oh yeah! What did you think?’ You know — excited. And he goes: ‘I gotta be honest with you, buddy. You’re kind of playing yourself. You look like a sucker.’ And it hit me that I’d lost my perspective. What I thought was romantic was just embarrassing. And he said, ‘You should just go away for a while.’ So I shut everything down. I took some time off to be with my son, and to be with my family and close friends. And the more time I took off, the more everything became clear.

As for the commercial 2014 flop album that he named after his wife, Thicke said he went about releasing Paula the wrong way. “Look, my songwriting has always been autobiographical, and always will be. The Paula album was no different. I was struggling through my toughest time, and I decided to share it. And I remember my team and my record company didn’t want me to put it out, but they stuck by me. In hindsight, the only thing I would have done differently was, I wouldn’t have promoted it or sold it. I would have given it away. That would have kept the purity of the message intact.”

To hear what he had to say about that costly “Blurred Lines” decision, head over to the NYT.

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