The lines have officially been blurred.
On Jan. 12, news broke that Paula Patton had filed legal documents asking to limit ex-husband Robin Thicke‘s joint custody of their 6-year-old son, Julian, accusing Thicke of physical abuse. Thicke denied committing any abuse in a court filing, and on Thursday an L.A. judge denied Patton’s request, according to a source close to the situation.
The former couple divorced in 2015 after eight years of marriage, and until now appeared to have kept things amicable. But their new dispute brought to light several contentious issues, with Patton, 41, claiming concern over alleged drinking and drug use by Thicke, and Thicke, 39, stating in court papers that he barred Patton from his father Alan Thicke’s funeral last month.
Here, a look back at some of the high school sweethearts’ ups and downs:
Patton met Thicke at an 18-and-under club in Los Angeles when she was 15 and he was 14.
“He wasn’t my first kiss, but he was my first lots of other things,” Patton told Vanity Fair in 2014. “There’s a deep love there — always was, and always will be.” The two dated through high school and college, marrying in 2005.
Months after their 2015 divorce she posted a sweet #TBT of the pair, calling their relationship “an amazing time in my life. No regrets! Celebrating this amazing life we get to live never knowing what’s coming next. Love is always the answer.”
Baby Makes Three
The stars welcomed son Julian Fuego on April 6, 2010. “It was hard when we became parents, because we had to balance our careers with this new person in our lives,” Thicke admitted to PEOPLE at Art Basel in 2011. “[Having a baby] changed everything,” he added. “It was tough at first. She was stressed. I took time off. I lost my mojo. After a while, we hit our rhythm and we are more in love and supportive than ever.”
In 2013, Patton spoke fondly of Julian’s admiration of his father. “He wants to be just like his dad. I mean, obsessed with it,” she told Jimmy Fallon, adding that at just 3 years old, he was already writing his own music. “We’re so proud of him.”
Work Woes Reign
As Thicke’s star skyrocketed and Patton’s résumé grew in 2013, the lovebirds started spending more time apart.
“They’re both at the top of their careers right now and they’re never together. She’s filming in Canada and he’s on tour,” a source told PEOPLE.
In 2014, Thicke admitted to abusing prescription painkillers and alcohol. “Every day I woke up, I would take a Vicodin to start the day and then I would fill up a water bottle with vodka and drink it before and during my interviews,” he in a legal document pertaining to a copyright lawsuit about his song “Blurred Lines.” “I was high and drunk every time I did an interview last year.”
Infidelity Rumors Swirl
Around the same time, Thicke was plagued by cheating allegations following his risqué performance at the 2013 MTV VMA Awards — especially after he was photographed grabbing a woman’s backside at N.Y.C nightclub 1Oak during an afterparty.
“He didn’t act married,” an observer told PEOPLE.
In February 2014, the stars announced their separation in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE. “We will always love each other and be best friends,” they said, “however, we have mutually decided to separate at this time.”
But It’s Not Over Yet
“I told my wife the truth. That’s why she left me,” Thicke was quoted as saying in the legal documents about his “Blurred Lines” lawsuit. So he spent the beginning of 2014 trying to get her back, breaking down at concerts and even sending messages through the paparazzi.
“They still admire each other,” a friend told PEOPLE. “She’ll always be his biggest fan and he’ll always write songs about her and put her on a pedestal.”
That summer, he even released an album entitled Paula. “I came right off a tour and I had all these songs and all these ideas and feelings in my heart. And I went right into the studio,” he told On Air with Ryan Seacrest.
As for the title, “Obviously all the songs were about her or about how I feel about her,” he continued. “A lot of songwriters have done this kind of thing before. They won’t tell you in the title or they’ll be suggestive … I was just like, ‘There’s no reason to hide who this is about.’ It’s all about her.”
A New Leaf
Thicke stepped out with model April Love Geary at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, two months after his divorce from Patton was finalized.
Later in the year, the couple packed on the PDA during a trip to St. Barts, where Geary captioned an Instagram, “Lucky to be in love with my best friend.”
In November 2016, some Instagrams in which she was sporting an “ALT” bikini and he a tattoo of the same initials led some to believe they’d secretly married. But a source told PEOPLE they are still “just dating.”
A Tragic Turn
On Dec. 13, 2016, Thicke’s father Alan died suddenly of a heart attack while playing hockey with his youngest son. Among the celebrity tributes to the Canadian actor was one from Patton, who wrote:
“I knew Alan since I was 15 years old and he had a tremendous effect on my life. I loved and respected him so much! So many great memories and laughs together. We will miss him so much! His grandson is quite sure he is still here with us in spirit.”
In the legal documents Patton filed in early 2017 asking for changes to the couple’s custody agreement, Thicke alleged that his ex held “residual anger” toward him because he and his family “would not permit her or her family” to attend his father’s funeral.
“Paula did not have a positive relationship with my father and often made negative comments to me about my father,” Thicke said. “As such, she was not welcome at his funeral. It is my belief that Paula only wanted to attend because it would have resulted in additional public exposure for her.”
However, he did admit that “on a very rare occasion, and only as a last resort,” he used “light spanking” with their son Julian per his agreement with Patton during their marriage. Thicke insisted he has “never exceeded age-appropriate discipline.”
For her part, Patton said Julian’s school principal raised concerns with her after the child reportedly said he’d been spanked and was “scared” of his dad. The school principal told Thicke on Jan. 6 a report had been made to L.A.’s Department of Children and Family Services. (DCFS declined to comment citing client privacy.)
The dispute between the former couple became increasingly fraught on Jan. 13 as Thicke called cops to Patton’s home after Julian failed to arrive at school on Friday.
A representative for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Lost Hills station confirmed to PEOPLE that law enforcement officials were dispatched to Patton’s Calabasas home. Julian had missed his visitation with Thicke the evening before and did not attend school Friday. The representative referred to the incident as “a non-event” but said “it involved a child not wanting to go with someone.”
Court documents obtained by PEOPLE show that Patton texted Thicke to tell him she was picking up their son on Thursday, Jan. 5, despite it being Thicke’s custodial time. “Paula sent someone to school to intercept Julian, in violation of the custody orders,” Thicke’s lawyer, Angela Pierce di Donato, told PEOPLE Friday, adding that “she did not return him to school today.”
Thicke’s lawyer said the singer is concerned about Julian’s well-being. “Julian only shows any evidence of emotional harm when questioned by Paula or in her presence,” said Pierce di Donato.
Countered a source familiar with the situation, “Julian has made it clear he does not feel safe in his father’s presence, a fact confirmed today by the Malibu Sheriff’s Department determination — with Mr. Thicke present — that the child needed to remain with his mother.”
A source close to the situation confirmed to PEOPLE that the DCFS investigation is ongoing.
Amid the drama, the couple went to therapy together with Julian the weekend of Jan. 14, multiple sources confirmed to PEOPLE.
“While Julian has remained in his mother’s care, both parties are working with a therapist who is advising on Julian’s best interest,” a source familiar with the situation said. “The family attended their first joint therapy session this weekend. Ms. Patton will continue to do what is right for her son.”
A second insider told PEOPLE, “Robin wants to keep Julian’s best interests at heart.”
A Major Setback
On Jan. 26, an L.A. judge granted Patton’s request for a temporary restraining order against Thicke, granting her sole custody of the couple’s 6-year-old son Julian until the next court date on Feb. 24 and ordering Thicke to stay away from his son and ex-wife other than for supervised visitation with Julian, court documents obtained by PEOPLE confirm.
In her request for a temporary restraining order, Patton accuses Thicke of excessive drug use and claims that in the years during their marriage the singer had at times punched and kicked her and was repeatedly unfaithful. Most recently Patton claims that Thicke stood outside of her mother’s house for two hours demanding to see Julian. (Thicke said in court filings he left rather than cause “a disturbance of any kind.”)
“[Patton] is in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to herself and the child,” the actress’ attorney, Larry Bakman, wrote in the request.
Thicke’s lawyer Angela Pierce di Donato responded to the allegations in a statement to PEOPLE: “Paula never reported any domestic violence until she was in a position of contempt by violating the custody orders. DCFS asked both Paula and Robin to drug test. Robin agreed and submitted to his test, but Paula refused to test. Infidelity has nothing to do with custody. She is attempting to throw anything at him to hurt him, but Robin’s focus is their son.”