In his forthcoming memoir, Then It Fell Apart, Moby alleges that they had an "amazing night" in September 1999 — when Portman was 20 and he was 33. According to Entertainment Tonight, Moby says that Portman flirted with him in his dressing room and that the two later met up at the MTV Video Music Awards and a Versace afterparty. He went on to say that they met at Harvard (where Portman was studying) and "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," Moby wrote, adding later that he "tried to be Natalie's boyfriend, but it hadn't worked out."
However, it turns out that Portman had a completely different recollection of what went down, telling Harper's Bazaar UKthat they never dated while pointing out their significant age gap.
"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 publication. "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. 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."
Portman then went on to clarify that she was a "fan" and "went to one of his shows when I had just graduated." Recalling that he wanted to be friends at the time, Portman explained that they "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."
Naturally, there was plenty of backlash to Moby's mischaracterization of their relationship. And, of course, his initial response was to double down on the shaky claim via an old photo of the two together alongside a defensive caption. However, it seems as if someone reasoned with him, as the musician eventually ended up posting a note to his Instagram called "from moby, an apology" over the weekend.
"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," Moby wrote. "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," Moby continued. "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."
He then went on to say sorry to Portman, "as well as the other people I wrote about in Then It Fell Apart without telling them beforehand," and admitted that given their age difference, he "absolutely should've acted more responsibly and respectfully" — which kind of is a no-brainer, but OK.