Actress Paula Patton filed for divorce this week from singer Robin Thicke. They have been married since 2005, but Patton and Thicke’s relationship history extends even further back than that.
Robin Thicke, son of Growing Pains dad Alan Thicke, met Paula Patton, the daughter of a schoolteacher mother and lawyer father, at a teen nightclub in Los Angeles when he was 14 and she was almost 16. As Thicke has described it, Balistyx on the Sunset Strip was the kind of place that did not serve alcohol and teens could go there at night to dance in the summer. Legend has it that Robin serenaded Paula with Steve Wonder’s Jungle Fever as they danced. Paula has stated that Robin was not her first kiss but he was her first “other things.”
The pair dated all through their high school years. Patton attended Hamilton Magnet Arts High School, where she was the president of the Black Student Union and acted in school plays, including the role of Abigail in The Crucible. Thicke attended Campbell Hall High School but was expelled. He says that he was the class clown and always getting kicked out of class and suspended. He finally finished at Montclair College Preparatory School, which he describes as the private school students attended after getting kicked out of all of the other private schools. Thicke has stated that, at a certain point, he had no interest in attending school because he had already been writing songs and receiving royalty checks. Eventually, he went on home study, maintained a B average and graduated.
After high school, Patton and Thicke continued dating, even as she went on to attend the University of California, Berkeley, before transferring to University of Southern California Film School while Thicke continued working as a songwriter. In 2002, Thicke released his first album as she was auditioning for acting roles.
On June 11, 2005, already having a long history together, Patton and Thicke took their relationship to the next level and were married. In addition to tying the knot that year, Patton had her first major part, in the film Hitch alongside Will Smith, and Thicke released a well-received, critically-acclaimed album titled The Evolution of Robin Thicke.
In 2006, Patton appeared in the film Idlewild, alongside OutKast, as well as the movie Deja Vu with Denzel Washington. The next year, Thicke performed at the 2007 Soul Train Music Awards. For the first five years of marriage, the couple appeared to enjoy each other’s company as well as their thriving careers and red carpet appearances. In 2010, they took the leap into parenthood when, on April 7, 2010, Paula gave birth to their son, Julian Fuego Thicke.
In 2013, Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus shocked the world with what was deemed an overtly sexual and vulgar performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. For a year, the couple was dogged by rumors of infidelity on Thicke’s part. In February 2014, the couple announced their separation. Despite filing for divorce this week, Patton and Thicke share not only a child but a long relationship history. As Patton told Vanity Fair magazine earlier this year, there is a “deep love” there and “always will be.”
By Jennifer Fernicola Ronay