Moby’s new memoir includes lots of dishing about his dating life, but Natalie Portman says his story about her just isn’t true
Two decades after Play was released, 90s dance musician Moby has a new memoir out called Then It Fell Apart, which outlines everything from his childhood, to his days of drunk partying, to memories of his laundry list of celebrity girlfriends. That isn’t terribly interesting in and of itself, except that Natalie Portman says that at least the part of the book about her didn’t happen at all the way that Moby said it did.
In Moby’s recollection, the two dated starting when she was 20 and showed up after one of his concerts.
“I walked to the backstage door, sure that this was a misunderstanding or a joke, but there was Natalie Portman, patiently waiting,” he writes, according to Stereogum. “She gazed up at me with black eyes and said, ‘Hi.’”
He continues to say that he saw her again after an awards show.
“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,” he writes. “Natalie took my hand and led me into the hotel. I walked to the bar and ordered two vodka and sodas, one for each of us. ‘Oh, I don’t drink,’ she said, scanning the room – which, in turn, was scanning us.”
Ugh – you can almost feel the creepiness on the page.
Later, he visits her at Harvard, where she was a student.
“I took a taxi to Cambridge to meet Natalie. We held hands and wandered around Harvard, kissing under the centuries-old oak trees. 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.”
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Portman confirms what you can begin to infer from Moby’s claims: they weren’t dating, he was just being creepy with someone who was barely legal. She stresses that she had just graduated from high school when they met, and that she felt his advances were inappropriate.
“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 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.”
Moby wrote in his memoir that Natalie Portman was once "in my dressing room, flirting with me."
But she says: "My recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school"https://t.co/UiBwOGaaFj
— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) May 22, 2019
She confirms that they hung out a few times, but adds her side of the story, which is that Moby was considerably older (he was 33) and she wasn’t interested.
“I was a fan and went to one of his shows when I had just graduated,” she continued. “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 doubled down on his story this morning, with photo evidence that unfortunately involves him without a shirt on.
“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 Then It Fell Apart is accurate, with lots of corroborating photo evidence.”
“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.”
Still, we don’t think that a picture of them standing together changes Portman’s memories, or the weird tone of Moby’s recollections. Or her age at the time they met.
Moby also dishes about his relationship with Lana Del Ray, who was then known as Lizzy Grant (Moby spells it Lizzie in the book, if you want to know how deep their relationship probably was). He recalls meeting her at a bar, kissing her, and then taking her on a date to his sprawling five-story Central Park apartment after a vegan meal. Again, Del Ray’s hesitancy shines through even in Moby’s telling, as does Moby’s ego. Yuck.
Moby has a long history of being a “ladies man” (a term that, to put it lightly, ain’t seen as a good thing nowadays) as well as for his hedonistic lifestyle, alcoholism, and life of excess in the wake of his brief 90s star status. While some music stars have looked back on their lives with depth and reflection, Moby’s book segments come off way more as a very long and shallow humble brag – and one that rings false. Why not put the book wherever all 12 million copies of Play went?
Also, Moby should give his friend’s CDs back.