Moby also canceled the remainder of his book tour for “Then It Fell Apart,” which includes a now-infamous anecdote in which he says Portman showed up backstage at a concert in 1999 and asked to “meet up” in the near future. She would have been 18 years old at the time, though Moby, who was then 33, states in the memoir that she was 20.
“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,” Moby wrote, according to a book excerpt published by Entertainment Weekly. “But here she was in my dressing room, flirting with me.”
He says the two began to date soon afterward, describing their interactions at an MTV Video Music Awards after-party hosted by Donatella Versace, and recalls Portman breaking the relationship off after meeting someone else.
These details were widely scrutinized after Portman vehemently denied them all in an interview published by Harper’s Bazaar last week. She remembered Moby as “a much older man being creepy with me when I had just graduated high school,” adding that they only hung out a handful of times before she came to this realization. She also said it was “very disturbing” that he used the story to promote the book.
The next day, amid intense backlash, Moby posted to Instagram an old photo of himself standing shirtless next to a faintly smiling Portman as “corroborating photo evidence.” This didn’t actually prove anything, of course, and instead launched a meme in which people jokingly claim they once dated celebrities they have taken pictures with. Several publications pointed out that Moby says in the book that he also dated actress Christina Ricci and a young singer named Lizzy Grant (a.k.a. pre-fame Lana Del Rey), who allegedly described him as “the person they guillotine in the revolution.”
Oddly enough, in an interview with the Guardian from 2000, Moby himself denied ever having dated Portman (“We sort of met and flirted, but there was never anything serious”) or Ricci (“She’s a very attractive, sexy woman, but her boyfriend is a good friend of mine").
“I like women, not girls,” he continued. “I think I’d have a hard time having a sustained romantic involvement with someone under 20.”
This past weekend, Moby posted his first apology to Instagram. While he didn’t walk back any of his claims, he wrote that it was “inconsiderate” of him to not have told Portman and the others that they would be mentioned in the memoir. He also acknowledged that he should have behaved more respectfully toward Portman because of the age difference between the two of them.
On Tuesday, he wrote that there is “obviously no one else to blame but me. Thank you, and I’m sorry.”