Earlier this month, musician Moby published his memoir Then It Fell Apart, a documentation of the underbelly of fame that includes his personal experiences with mental health, drugs, and relationships with other celebrities — including Natalie Portman. However, in an interview with Harper's Bazaar UK, Portman slammed Moby's claims that they dated as "creepy," and denied ever being romantically involved with the artist.
"I was a bald binge drinker and Natalie Portman was a beautiful movie star," an excerpt from the memoir reads. "But here she was in my dressing room, flirting with me...I thought that I was going to have to tell her that my panic was too egregious for me to be in a real relationship, but one night on the phone she informed me that she'd met somebody else. I was relieved that I'd never have to tell her how damaged I was."
Portman, however, saw things differently, telling the outlet that she was "surprised to hear that he characterized the very short time that I knew him as dating because my recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school."
Portman says that she had just turned 18 when the two met, not 20, as the book claims. At the time, Moby said he was 33.
“I was a fan and went to one of his shows when I had just graduated,” she continued. “When we met after the show, he said, ‘let’s be friends’. He was on tour and I was working, shooting a film, so we only hung out a handful of times before I realized that this was an older man who was interested in me in a way that felt inappropriate.”
Portman said that neither Moby, nor his publisher Faber Social, reached out to her to fact-check the anecdote, saying it almost felt "deliberate."
"That he used this story to sell his book was very disturbing to me," she said. "It wasn’t the case."
On Instagram, Moby responded to Portman's claims with a photo of them together, and wrote this caption:
"I recently read a gossip piece wherein Natalie Portman said that we’d never dated. This confused me, as we did, in fact, date. And after briefly dating in 1999 we remained friends for years. I like Natalie, and I respect her intelligence and activism. But, to be honest, I can’t figure out why she would actively misrepresent the truth about our(albeit brief)involvement. The story as laid out in my book Then It Fell Apart is accurate, with lots of corroborating photo evidence, etc.
Ps I completely respect Natalie’s possible regret in dating me(to be fair, I would probably regret dating me, too), but it doesn’t alter the actual facts of our brief romantic history"
Refinery29 has reached out to Moby and Faber Social for comment.