Academy Award winner Natalie Portman says that despite claims by techno-rocker Moby in his new memoir, the two of them never dated.
After Moby, 53, alleged in "Then It Fell Apart" that he had met and started dating Portman, when he was 33 and she purportedly was 20, the "Black Swan" star states this was not so. "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," Portman, 37, told the UK edition of Harper's Bazaar in an interview posted Tuesday. Portman, who was raised primarily in Jericho, graduated from Syosset High School in 1999.
"He said I was 20; I definitely wasn't," the actress continued. "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."
Representatives for Moby and for Faber & Faber, publisher of the musician's second memoir following 2016's "Porcelain," did not respond to Newsday requests for comment.
"I was a fan and went to one of his shows when I had just graduated," Portman recalled. "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, born Richard Hall, responded on Instagram Wednesday, writing, "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 … is accurate, with lots of corroborating photo evidence, etc."
He added, "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."
Accompanying the post was a vintage photo of Moby posing with a stiffly smiling Portman. The image is not overtly romantic, a point some commenters noted. "To be honest She does look uncomfortable," wrote one. Said another, "This is so cringey :/ why would you even post this trying to convince people you dated her."