In his new memoir, “Then It Fell Apart,” Moby, now 53, recalls dating Portman when she was a 20-year-old Harvard student and he was a 33-year-old musician on tour in 1999. He claims they kissed “under the centuries-old oak trees” at Harvard and would lie with each other in her dorm room bed.
“After she fell asleep I carefully extracted myself from her arms and took a taxi back to my hotel,” he writes in his book. Moby claimed that he “tried to be Natalie’s boyfriend, but it hadn’t worked out” because she allegedly found someone else.
Portman completely denied Moby’s story in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK published Tuesday, telling the magazine she remembers their relationship very differently.
“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,” she continued. “There was no fact checking from him or his publisher ― it almost feels deliberate.”
Moby’s memoir claims the two first met in September 1999, which would have made Portman, born in June 1981, 18 years old.
Portman added that she found it “very disturbing” that the musician would fabricate a romantic relationship to sell books.
“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,” she said. “I would have liked him or his publisher to reach out to fact check.”
She confirmed part of Moby’s account, telling Harper’s Bazaar UK that she did meet him after a show and they did hang out as friends “a handful of times.” Portman said she quickly realized Moby “was an older man who was interested in me in a way that felt inappropriate.”
Moby responded to Portman’s accusation in a Wednesday morning Instagram post, writing that he recently read “a gossip piece” in which Portman claims the two never dated.
“This confused me, as we did, in fact, date. And after briefly dating in 1999 we remained friends for years,” he wrote. “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.”
Portman, Moby and Moby’s publisher Faber & Faber did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.