What we know about Emily Ratajkowski’s parents

John David Ratajkowski


Emily Ratajkowski’s candidness in My Body has to be applauded. One startling revelation is that Robin Thicke groped her during the infamous shoot for Blurred Lines. Emily, a relatively unpopular model at the time, feared that she would tank her career by speaking out.


What we know about Emily Ratajkowski’s parents

In our opinion, Emily’s revelations about her relationship with her parents, Kathleen Balgley and John Ratajkowski, trump all others in My Body. Among other things, Emily explains how her mother’s obsession with beauty shaped Emily’s perception of herself and other women.

Emily believes that she is the glue that held her family together.Emily Ratajkowski was born on 7th June 1991 in Westminster, London, to American parents. She grew up in Encinitas, California.

Ratajkowski is of German, Irish, English, and Polish Jewish descent. Her father, John, was raised Roman Catholic, and her mother is Jewish. Her mother, Kathleen, has no Israeli roots, but Emily told Allure that her ethnicity is Polish-Israeli.


John David Ratajkowski


In My Body, Emily tells the story of a fractured household that might have crumbled had Emily failed to arrive. Ratajkowski writes:

“I knew that my parents had been on again, off again for years before my mother became pregnant with me and they decided to get married. I understood that even before I was born my existence was the essential glue of their relationship.”

John and Kathleen’s relationship didn’t improve much after Emily’s birth, but neither could abandon the relationship because they had a daughter to raise. Emily wrote that sometimes, she’d arise to ‘the rhythmic sound of my parents having s*x,’ but more often, Emily’s parents engaged in shouting matches.


John David Ratajkowski

She would hide in the bedroom until the arguments subsided, but other times, she became something of a mediator between her parents. Emily writes:

“After every such explosion, which usually ended with one of them leaving, the other would turn to me to plead their case or to air their grievances. I’d listen, performing my role dutifully, feeling a queasiness that would stay with me for days.”

Emily’s dad is a reasonably successful artist with paintings all over the world.Kathleen was an English professor, and John was a high school arts teacher. John quit teaching to focus on painting, with Kathleen as his curator.


John David Ratajkowski

He has plenty of art displayed worldwide, including ‘Portraits of Jewish Literary Figures in Film.’ The exhibition features Jewish characters from literature works adapted to film.

Emily’s mother was reportedly obsessed with her daughter’s beauty.Being the only child in the house meant that Emily couldn’t escape the attention of her parents. Kathleen was obsessed with beauty – first, with hers and later with Emily’s.


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