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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 13 November 2019

Natalie Portman called Moby 'creepy' and said they never dated. Now the musician has responded – twice

The musician posted photographs on Instagram of he and Portman together and said that 'it hurts to be lied about'
Moby claims to have dated Natalie Portman in 1999, which the actress denies

It started with a passage in Moby’s recently released memoir, where the musician claimed that he and the actress Natalie Portman briefly dated in 1999 when he was 33 and she was 20 – although it has subsequently been pointed out that Portman was, in fact, 18 in 1999.

“I was a bald binge-drinker who lived in an apartment that smelled like mildew and old bricks, and Natalie Portman was a beautiful movie star,” writes Moby in Then It Fell Apart. “But here she was in my dressing room, flirting with me.”

Moby goes on to document the pair’s brief relationship, writing about “kissing under the centuries-old oak trees” and how, “for a few weeks I had tried to be Natalie’s boyfriend, but it hadn’t worked out”.

Earlier this week, Portman, 37, denied Moby’s account in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar. “I was surprised to hear that he characterised 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,” said Portman. “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.

“I was a fan and went to one of his shows when I had just graduated. He was on tour and I was working shooting a film, so we only hung out a handful of times before I realised that this was an older man who was interested in me in a way that felt inappropriate.”

Portman continued: “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”

Moby took to Instagram to respond – twice – to Portman’s counterclaims. His posts have now been deleted, but on Wednesday, he posted a picture of him and Portman together alongside a lengthy caption.

“I recently read a gossip piece wherein Natalie Portman said that we’d never dated,” the caption reads. “This confused me, as we did, in fact, date. And after briefly dating in 1999 we remained friends for years.

Moby shared this photo of himself and Natalie Portman on his Instagram, while maintaining that the pair had dated. Instagram / Moby 

“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.”

A second Instagram post then appeared on Thursday night, in which Moby doubled down, writing: “In my memoir, Then It Fell Apart, I respectfully and honestly describe the brief, innocent, and consensual romantic involvement I had with Natalie Portman in 1999. But she’s denying that we ever dated, even though in the past she’s publicly discussed our involvement, and there’s ample photographic evidence that we briefly dated and then were friends.

“It hurts to be lied about, especially as I’ve always respected her, and I thought we were friends. But I’ve been receiving anonymous threats of violence from her fans, and it’s affecting my business and my health.

“So what should I do? What do you do when people believe lies and accusations and not actual photographs and evidence? I want to take the high road, but I honestly don’t know what to do. It’s one thing to be lied about, and entirely another when someone’s lies result in physical threats from complete strangers.”

He had since deleted the posts, adding an apology instead.

"As some time has passed I've realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then It Fell Apart are very valid," he wrote. "I also fully recognize that it was truly inconsiderate of me to not let her know about her inclusion in the book beforehand, and equally inconsiderate for me to not fully respect her reaction.

"I have a lot of admiration for Natalie, for her intelligence, creativity, and animal rights activism, and I hate that I might have caused her and her family distress."

Updated: May 27, 2019 05:21 PM