Smokey Robinson on Diana Ross affair: ‘Loving more than one person at once has been made taboo’

‘Tears of a Clown’ singer claims he and Ross had a relationship while he was married

Louis Chilton
Thursday 27 April 2023 09:20 BST
Diana Ross performs at Glastonbury

Smokey Robinson has reflected on his extramarital affair with Diana Ross.

The soul singer, whose hits with his band the Miracles include “The Tears of a Clown” and “Tracks of my Tears”, claimed that he and Ross had a romantic fling that lasted about a year.

At the time, Robinson was married to Claudette Rogers, his bandmate in the Miracles. The pair would stay married for 27 years, despite infidelities by the singer.

In an interview with The Guardian, Robinson was asked about his reported affair with Ross. “Yes, we did [have a thing],” he said. “[For] about a year. I was married at the time. We were working together and it just happened. But it was beautiful. She’s a beautiful lady, and I love her right till today.

He continued: “She’s one of my closest people. She was young and trying to get her career together. I was trying to help her. I brought her to Motown, in fact. I wasn’t going after her and she wasn’t going after me. It just happened.”

According to Robinson, Ross ended the affair after the pair had been seeing each other “for a while”, telling him that she couldn’t continue because she knew his wife, and knew that Robinson “still loved” her.

“And I did,” he added. “I loved my wife very much. [...] You asked me what happened when we get older, and we get wisdom in life. I learned that we are capable of loving more than one person at the same time. And it has been made taboo by us. By people.

“It’s not because one person isn’t worthy or they don’t live up to what you expect – it has to do with feelings. If we could control love, nobody would love anybody. Nobody would take that chance. Why would you put your heart out there for somebody to be able to hurt you like that and make you able to have those feelings?

Robinson’s latest album, Gasms, is released on 28 April.

The Independent has contacted a representative of Ross for comment.

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