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Moby addresses Natalie Portman dating scandal: ‘There is no good way to answer’


Moby has called the controversy around Natalie Portman rumours a ‘can of worms’ (Picture: Getty)

Moby has opened up on the he said/she said of the controversy around whether or not he dated Natalie Portman, insisting it was a ‘can of worms’ to unpack.

If you cast your mind to 2019, the artist cancelled all public appearances amid the scandal, after he wrote he had dated the Star Wars actress when she was 20.

However, following his admission in his memoir, When It Fell Apart, Natalie publicly denied that they were ever ‘dating’ and described his flirtation as ‘creepy’ when they met (she says she was 18 years old – he would have been 37, and also said he ‘wouldn’t use that word’).

Speaking about the palaver now, Moby said he had taken ‘refuge in my ignorance’ by not reading any of the headlines at the time, while he admitted it soon ‘became hard to ignore’.

He told the Guardian: ‘A part of me wishes I could spend the next two hours deconstructing the whole thing, but there’s levels of complexity and nuance that I really can’t go into.’

When asked whether he regretted writing about the actress, he said: ‘There is a part of me in hindsight that wishes I hadn’t written the book. But then, sales figures indicate that not that many people actually read it.’

Natalie denied the pair dated (Picture: Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Pressed on whether ‘what he wrote in the book true as he recalls it?’ the Porcelain star affirmed as such, but didn’t want to be drawn on the specifics.

He went on: ‘You know, you’re asking me to open up such a can of worms. It reminds me of my favourite chess move, which my uncle taught me, where you move your knight so that it puts the king in check but also is going to take the castle.

‘There’s no good way to answer: one option is terrible, the other is really terrible. So if we were playing chess right now, this is the part where I’d pick up my phone and pretend I’ve got an emergency call.’

Moby insisted his recollection was ‘true’ (Picture: Startraks Photo/REX)

In the book, Moby wrote: ‘I was a bald binge drinker and Natalie Portman was a beautiful movie star. But here she was in my dressing room, flirting with me.’

He then claimed that he ‘tried to be Natalie’s boyfriend’ for a few weeks but it ‘hadn’t worked out’.

The singer continued: ‘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.’

Refuting the claims, Natalie said: ‘I was surprised to hear that he characterised 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.’

She recalled hanging out with Moby a handful of times while he was on tour but realised he was interested ‘in a way that felt inappropriate’.

Still, Moby went on to double down on his claims, saying Natalie’s denial ‘confused’ him – insisting the pair not only dated but ‘remained friends for years’ afterwards.

‘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,’ he said, adding the story he wrote in his memoir was ‘accurate’ and had ‘lots of corroborating photo evidence.’

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.’


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