US singer Moby on Saturday issued a public apology to Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman for saying he had dated her almost two decades ago, after she rebuffed his claim and accused him of being “creepy” toward her.
Moby, 53, whose real name is Richard Melville Hall, said in his recently published memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that he had briefly dated Portman when she was 20.
“For a few weeks I had tried to be Natalie’s boyfriend, but it hadn’t worked out,” he wrote. “I thought that I was going to have to tell her that my panic was too egregious for me to be in a real relationship, but one night on the phone she informed me that she’d met somebody else. I was relieved that I’d never have to tell her how damaged I was.”
The Israeli-American Jewish actress, who is now 37, told the Harper’s Bazaar magazine on Thursday that she 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.”
here’s the thing about Natalie Portman & Moby. Even if she had “dated” him, she was 18, he was 34. I ”dated” 23 year olds when I was 14. I look back now & realize that was NOT dating & was older men being predatory. She isnt faking memory loss. She just finally realized the truth pic.twitter.com/czWmnjwAfY
— How To Be Alone (by me Lane Moore) is out now (@hellolanemoore) May 22, 2019
She said she hadn’t been 20 and had in fact just turned 18 at the time, a logical claim given that Moby had claimed he had been 33 at the time, and the age gap between the two is almost 16 years.
“There was no fact checking from him or his publisher — it almost feels deliberate,” she charged. “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 initially fired back, saying in a now-deleted Instagram post that “it hurts to be lied about, especially as I’ve always respected her, and I thought we were friends.”
But on Saturday he posted an apology to Portman, saying much of the criticism he has been facing is “very valid.”
View this post on Instagram
As some time has passed I've realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then It Fell Apart are very valid. I also fully recognize that it was truly inconsiderate of me to not let her know about her inclusion in the book beforehand, and equally inconsiderate for me to not fully respect her reaction. I have a lot of admiration for Natalie, for her intelligence, creativity, and animal rights activism, and I hate that I might have caused her and her family distress. I tried to treat everyone I included in Then It Fell Apart with dignity and respect, but nonetheless it was truly inconsiderate for me to not let them know before the book was released. So for that I apologize, to Natalie, as well as the other people I wrote about in Then It Fell Apart without telling them beforehand. Also I accept that given the dynamic of our almost 14 year age difference I absolutely should've acted more responsibly and respectfully when Natalie and I first met almost 20 years ago. Moby
He said he had been “truly inconsiderate” not to reach out to her before the book’s publication and “equally inconsiderate” not to respect her reaction.
“I absolutely should’ve acted more responsibly and respectfully when Natalie and I first met almost 20 years ago,” he added.
Israel’s consul general to New York, Dani Dayan, reacted to the story by tweeting a photo of himself and Portman and writing, “I never claimed she was my girlfriend.”
I never claimed she was my girlfriend. pic.twitter.com/r0qWLWnZBM
— Dani Dayan (@AmbDaniDayan) May 23, 2019