In a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Natalie Portman refutes musician Moby’s claims that they dated when she was 20 years old. Instead, she says it was a case of him acting “creepy” toward her when she was a teenager and he was 33.
Moby, now 53, claims in his new memoir, Then It Fell Apart, that he and Portman met backstage after one of his shows in Austin, Texas. “I was a bald binge drinker and Natalie Portman was a beautiful movie star. But here she was in my dressing room, flirting with me,” he writes, according to The Telegraph.
In the memoir, per The Guardian, Moby recalls going to parties in New York with the actress, and visiting her when she was a student at Harvard. “At midnight she brought me to her dorm room and we lay down next to each other on her small bed. After she fell asleep I carefully extracted myself from her arms and took a taxi back to my hotel.”
But Portman, 37, has a different memory of the events. “I 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,” she tells Harper’s Bazaar UK. “He said I was 20; I definitely wasn’t. I was a teenager. I had just turned 18. There was no fact-checking from him or his publisher—it almost feels deliberate. That he used this story to sell his book was very disturbing to me. It wasn’t the case. There are many factual errors and inventions. I would have liked him or his publisher to reach out to fact check.”
She continued, “I was a fan and went to one of his shows when I had just graduated. 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.”
Moby took to Instagram on Wednesday, May 22 to address Portman’s comments.
“I recently read a gossip piece wherein Natalie Portman said that we’d never dated,” he wrote. “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. P.S.: 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.”
Portman goes on to say in the story—a feature-length profile—how instrumental movements like Time’s Up and #MeToo have been in empowering women to speak up.
“Time’s Up circumvented the legal system which people have complained about, but the legal system has not been serving women for so long and there was such frustration with it,” she said. “It gave women the ability to say, ‘We’re essentially being silenced and shamed and now we’re coming forward.’ There’s a real collective force when so many women come together.”