The singer was the subject of a lengthy interview while doing a promotion for his latest album. Gasms. As the conversation turned to how Robinson met his first wife, Claudette Rogers, he was first asked if he ever had a fling with Aretha Franklin who he grew up with in the same Detroit, Michigan neighborhood. When he responded no, he was asked about Diana Ross and he confirmed that they had an affair for “about a year”.
“I was married at the time,” Robinson said. “We were working together and it just happened. But it was beautiful. She’s a beautiful lady, and I love her right till today. 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.”
The “Cruisin” singer then detailed how the two split. “After we’d been seeing each other for a while, Diana said to me she couldn’t do that because she knew Claudette, and she knew I still loved my wife’ Robinson said. “And I did. I loved my wife very much.” He and Rogers would remain married until 1986. Representatives for Ross didn’t respond to requests for answers.“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,”
The 83-year-old went on to say how the situation helped him gain a greater perspective on love. “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,” he said.
Robinson’s dalliance with the “Inside Out” singer was also motivation for a funny moment in the interview, where he’s told about a rumor that he and Ross were the actual parents of the late superstar Michael Jackson. “They say Diana Ross and I had Michael? Oh my God! I never heard that one, man! That’s pretty good. That’s funny! That’s funny!” When asked if Ross has heard it, Robinson said he would call her and ask.