Moby is the latest celebrity to publish a memoir, which means it’s time to grab some biscuits and enjoy the spilling of tea. The Grammy-nominated dance artist released his second memoir Then It Fell Apart on May 2, because he didn’t get all his dating stories out in 2016’s Porcelain: A Memoir.
In his latest personal exposé, Moby talks about his experiences with panic attacks, addiction, sex and childhood trauma, which alone make for a vulnerable and compelling read. But according to Natalie Portman, who is one of the book’s subjects, Moby’s telling of the pair’s time together is more fiction than fact.
In the new book, Moby says that he and Portman briefly dated when he was 33 and she was a 20-year-old college student at Harvard. Recounting their initial meeting at one of Moby’s shows in Austin, Texas, the music producer remembers later going to parties with Portman in New York and visiting her in her Boston door room.
According to Moby, the couple seemingly spent time in a Hallmark movie and were “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.” Huh.
Moby said that the relationship, and commitment in general, caused him anxiety, writing “It wanted one thing: for me to be alone … nothing triggered my panic attacks more than getting close to a woman I cared about,” and “For a few weeks I had tried to be Natalie’s boyfriend, but it hadn’t worked out.”
In a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Portman shared her side of the relationship, which she says didn’t exist. “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 told the mag. “He said I was 20; I definitely wasn’t. I was a teenager. I had just turned 18. There was no fact-checking from him or his publisher – it almost feels deliberate.”
Portman continued, saying “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.”
As for fact-checking, Moby writes that the pair first met in September 1999, at which time Portman was 18. That’s not Harvard-level math; that’s just Wikipedia.
Moby isn’t backing down on his claims, though, and responded to Portman’s interview comments with a few (now-deleted) Instagram posts of the pair together while revealing that he has received threats from Portman fans, which is an outsized, unconscionable reaction to the he said/she said back-and-forth.
Writing on his Instagram that he read a “gossip piece” about Portman’s reaction to his book (Really? Harper’s Bazaar? A direct quote?), Moby 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.”
Moby continued to produce what he called “ample photographic evidence” and shared, “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.”
As a head’s-up to Moby’s future paramours, he’s planning to release a third memoir.
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
It appears that Moby heard your criticisms and issued an apology via Instagram on May 25. Well actually apology is generous. He admitted to recognizing that including Portman in his memoir, which he casually name-drops not one, not two but THREE TIMES, without checking with her first regarding details and her side of the story was “truly inconsiderate” as was “not fully respect[ing] her reaction.”
In the post, he also acknowledges that because her relatively young age and him being a man in his 40s, he “should’ve acted more responsibly and respectfully when Natalie and I first met almost 20 years ago.” He still doesn’t get the math right though, referencing their “14-year age difference” when, at 53 and 37, respectively, he is actually 16 years her senior.