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Moby Really Wants You to Believe He Dated a Teenager

In a new memoir, the producer and DJ claims he once dated a young Natalie Portman. Portman recalls "an older man being creepy."
Chicago, US

This month, Moby, the prominent DJ, songwriter, and producer, released his new memoir Then It Fell Apart, his second in three years. Where his debut autobiography Porcelain detailed his coming of age and rise in the New York City club scene of the late '80s and '90s, the new one focuses on his success and subsequent excesses following the 1999 release of his breakthrough LP Play. While the book's promo blurb promises stories of "taking ecstasy for breakfast (most days), drinking bottles of vodka (every day), and sleeping with super models (infrequently)," the fallout from Moby’s writings is just as messy.


In the book, he claims he dated a then 20-year-old Natalie Portman when he was 33 after they met backstage at a show in Austin, Texas. The memoir details the pair attending New York City house parties, and "kissing under centuries-old oak trees" at Portman's alma mater Harvard University. Later in the book, Moby writes, "For a few weeks I had tried to be Natalie's boyfriend, but it hadn't worked out." However, this isn’t how Natalie Portman remembers the events at all. "My recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school," the now 37-year-old actress said in a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar. "He said I was 20; I definitely wasn't. I was a teenager. I had just turned 18."

Portman elaborated, "I was a fan and went to one of his shows when I had just graduated. When we met after the show, he said, 'let’s be friends.'" She continued, "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." She also revealed, "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."

Moby defensively responded to the actress's comments on Instagram this morning. Posting a picture of himself shirtless with a young Portman, he wrote, "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." He 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." After claiming his book was totally accurate, he added, "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." Yikes, man!

For one, Portman was actually 18 years old in 1999 which was two years younger than what Then It Fell Apart claimed. Even if that's the only inaccuracy about their relationship in the book, it clouds Moby's assertion from his Instagram post that "The story as laid out in my book Then It Fell Apart is accurate with lots of corroborating photo evidence, etc." Secondly, he dismissively and confusingly refers to an interview Portman herself gave to Harper’s Bazaar as a "gossip piece." If they've presumably "remained friends for years." Seems like it would have been better to call that "old friend" on the phone to clear this up.

Portman isn't the only young woman Moby dished about in Then It Fall Apart. Stereogum reported Tuesday that Moby got politely shut down by Lizzy Grant, who would later begin her career as Lana Del Rey. He wrote about taking her to "a vegan macrobiotic restaurant" and then to his penthouse apartment on the fifth floor of the El Dorado building in New York City. As of press time, Del Rey has not vehemently denied dating Moby to a prominent magazine or said that his writings of their relationship are inaccurate.