In a widely-publicized excerpt from his new memoir, Moby claimed that he dated Natalie Portman when the actress was about twenty and he was in his thirties. The musician wrote that they met when Portman came to one of his concerts. “She gazed up at with black eyes and said, ‘Hi,’” he wrote. “As if this were normal, as if we knew each other, as if movie stars randomly showed up after my shows.”
But apparently it wasn’t normal at all. In a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK, Portman said that Moby’s memoir completely mischaracterizes their relationship.
“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 said. “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.”
“I was a fan and went to one of his shows when I had just graduated,” she added. “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 realised that this was an older man who was interested in me in a way that felt inappropriate.”
Portman has been vocal when it comes to #MeToo and issues surrounding women’s rights (and politics in general). At last January’s Women’s March, she delivered a viral speech about her experience as a teenage actress, when she was overtly sexualized before she even entered high school. “At 13 years old, the message from our culture was clear to me,” she said. “I felt the need to cover my body and to inhibit my expression and my work in order to send my own message to the world: That I’m someone worthy of safety and respect. The response to my expression from small comments about my body to more threatening deliberate statements served to control my behavior through an environment of sexual terrorism.”
Moby responded to Portman on Instagram, posting a shirtless photo of himself with the star (who was wearing a shirt from Milk Fed, Sophia Coppola’s 1990s fashion line). “After briefly dating in 1999 we remained friends for years,” he wrote. “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.”
“I completely respect Natalie’s possible regret in dating me(to be fair, I would probably regret dating me, too),” he continued. “But it doesn’t alter the actual facts of our brief romantic history.”