Moby wrote in a new work of memoir (or, perhaps, autofiction) that he and Natalie Portman dated briefly when she was 20 and he was 33, after a flirtatious episode in his dressing room. This week, Portman responded, saying she briefly knew him as “an older man who was interested in me in a way that felt inappropriate.” Oh, and she was 18 at the time, not 20.
The musician’s new memoir Then It Fell Apart sets him and Portman “kissing under the centuries-old oak trees [at Harvard University]. 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.” By his own account, the Ivy League bodice-ripper met its end because, “I wanted one thing: for me to be alone … nothing triggered my panic attacks more than getting close to a woman I cared about.” In this highly implausible scenario, all that stood between Moby and a romantic relationship with Natalie Portman were his own very nuanced intimacy issues.
In an interview published in Harper’s Bazaar on Tuesday, Portman disputes Moby’s claims, saying the two never had a relationship but that he did creepily hit on her when she was barely 18:
“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. 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.”
Dudes need to stop instrumentalizing Natalie Portman’s immense talent and charm to sell books.