Natalie Portman denies dating Moby, says he was 'a much older man being creepy'

Portman says she recalls the musician as "a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school.”
Natalie Portman and Moby
Natalie Portman and MobyGetty Images

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By Janelle Griffith

Natalie Portman is disputing claims made by musician Moby in his new memoir that the two had a fling more than 20 years ago.

“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 Harper’s Bazaar UK.

Moby, 53, claimed in his memoir, "Then It Fell Apart," that he briefly dated the Oscar-winning actress in 1999 when he was 33 and she was 20.

Portman said she was 18 when they met and had recently graduated high school. Their friendship fizzled out once she realized his intentions, she said.

“I was a fan and went to one of his shows when I had just graduated,” she told the outlet. “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.”

Portman slammed Moby and his publisher for the discrepancy.

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"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," Portman said. "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 seemingly acknowledged Portman's Harper's Bazaar interview in an Instagram post Wednesday.

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

The caption continued: "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."

An excerpt of "Then It Fell Apart" appeared in the Sunday Times in April.

In it, Moby wrote that Portman came backstage to meet him after a show and flirted with him.

“This was confusing,” Moby said, according to the excerpt. “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. But here she was in my dressing room, flirting with me.”

The memoir is not the first time Moby has claimed to have dated Portman.

He told Spin in February 2008 that his "very brief affair" with Portman made him "the target of a lot of nerd wrath."

"You can’t date Luke Skywalker’s mom and not have them hate your guts," he said at the time.