Natalie Portman denies Moby's 'creepy' dating claims

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Moby and Portman pictured at an event in 2001, with members of the hip-hop group The Roots

Natalie Portman has denied dating Moby in her teens, calling the musician’s behaviour “inappropriate”.

The actress was responding to Moby’s new memoir, in which he claims Portman asked him out after a show in 2001.

“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 wrote.

But Portman said the description was inaccurate, calling Moby a “creep” who overstepped his bounds.

Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, she 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.

“He said I was 20; I definitely wasn’t. I was a teenager. I had just turned 18. That he used this story to sell his book was very disturbing to me.”

She continued: “I was a fan and went to one of his shows when I had just graduated. He was on tour and I was working shooting a film, so we only hung out a handful of times before I realised that this was an older man who was interested in me in a way that felt inappropriate.”

The musician has now responded on Instagram, insisting the pair did date and stayed friends for years.

“I recently read a gossip piece wherein Natalie Portman said that we’d never dated,” he wrote. “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.”

He added: “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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The star says Moby’s book contains several “factual errors and inventions”

The book is not the first time Moby has spoken about dating Portman. In 2008, he told Spin magazine they shared a “very brief affair” that made him the target of “nerd wrath”.

“You can’t date Luke Skywalker’s mom and not have them hate your guts,” he said, referring to Portman’s role in the Star Wars prequels.

In his autobiography, the musician – who sold millions of copies of his 1999 album Play – describes attending the MTV Awards with the actress, and later visiting her while she attended Harvard in Boston.

“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.”

But Portman, who has become one of the leading figures in the Time’s Up movement, said the book contained several “factual errors and inventions”.

“There was no fact checking from him or his publisher,” said the Oscar-winning star of Black Swan. “It almost feels deliberate.”

The BBC has contacted Moby’s publisher, Faber & Faber, for a comment but has yet to receive a response.

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Moby was a Glastonbury headliner in 2003

Elsewhere in the book, titled Things Fell Apart, the musician describes dating actress Christina Ricci and a pre-fame Lana Del Rey, then known as Lizzy Grant.

“There’s a lot of [famous] names,” he admitted to the Telegraph’s Craig McLean, “[but] I’ve learned that libel is more problematic with private figures than public figures.

“If I write about dating Natalie Portman, anyone can Google and find pictures of us together, so it’s not libellous.

“But if I talk about an ex-girlfriend from the mid-nineties who I had sex with on a dance floor at a Stevie Nicks club night, and she’s now a mom with three kids running for city council, she could sue the hell out of me.”

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