Thursday 27 June 2019

Stunning star of controversial music video reveals Irish roots

Emily Ratajkowski with her mother Kathleen Balgley in Cork
Emily Ratajkowski with her mother Kathleen Balgley in Cork
STRIKING: Emily Ratajkowski, who grew up in Bantry, Co Cork, and who admits being a fan of the 'Irish lilt', with her mother Kathleeen
Emily with her dad, John, in Cork


SHE shot to fame cavorting half-naked with bee-stung red lips in Robin Thicke's chart-topping 'Blurred Lines' video.

And the eye-popping footage clocked over a million views in a matter of hours before it was quickly banned from YouTube.

But since twirling her glossy brunette locks and strutting her striking physique to the hit tune, everyone has been asking: 'Who's That Girl?'

Her name is Emily Ratajkowski – and you could find her a lot closer to home than expected.

Far from a world of hanging with Pharrell Williams and appearing on the cover of this month's GQ magazine, the American model grew up in the quiet surrounds of Bantry, Co Cork, and loves nothing more than a cold pint of Smithwick's.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent after attending her father John Ratajkowski's art exhibition in Bantry House, Co Cork, last week, the stunning 22-year-old said she has spent every summer in the remote west village since her father moved to the rebel county.

"I absolutely love Ireland. It's one of the most beautiful places on earth and I have strong ties here. Both my grandmothers are from Ireland and I have spent every summer in Bantry since my father, who is an artist, had the romantic idea 20 years ago to buy an old farmhouse on the west coast and renovate it.

"I go back any time I get the opportunity and I have many friends who I still hang out with in the local pubs. I have great childhood memories cow-tipping, going off and getting lost in the bog for hours and coming home covered in dirt.

"I love the pubs – the fact that you can find all ages there. It's so easygoing, an old man could be dancing with a young girl having a bit of fun and no one bats an eyelid. It's so relaxed and everyone is so friendly. I'm more of a Smithwick's or Bulmer's girl than a pint of Guinness."

The Ford model remained coy when asked if she was single, but confessed Irish bad boy Colin Farrell has caught her eye. "Colin is gorgeous. He's the typical rugged bad boy and has the Irish charm. I'm a big fan of the Irish accent. After a couple of drinks I start to get a bit of an Irish lilt too."

Emily, who lives in California, was signed by Ford Models at the tender age of 14.

Her big break came when she was shot by industry legend Tony Duran. After that, she began to be recognised as a fashion model and shot more and more fashion editorials, including gracing the cover of GQ Turkey.

But she caught the world's attention as the star of Thicke's video, which was released in March. The uncensored version, which Thicke had to get permission from his wife to film, was released a few days later and garnered more than one million views before being banned by YouTube.

"I didn't expect the reaction that came after the video. It was great fun to make and a high-energy shoot. I don't understand the controversy. Nudity isn't something people should take offence to."

The beauty insists her curves are all-natural and took to twitter to prove it after critics tried to suggest she had been surgically enhanced.

She posted: "For those meanies that insist I have had a boob job, here I am at 14 sooooo . . . "alongside a voluptuous picture.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in this section