Moby says there’s ‘no good way to answer’ questions about Natalie Portman scandal

Ellie Harrison
·2-min read
Moby and Natalie Portman (Shutterstock/Getty)
Moby and Natalie Portman (Shutterstock/Getty)

Moby has discussed the controversy surrounding his claims that he dated actor Natalie Portman in his 2019 memoir.

The musician was criticised after stating in his book, Then It Fell Apart, that he had dated Portman, a claim she denied.

Portman said she recalled “a much older man being creepy with me”, adding: “He said I was 20; I definitely wasn’t. I was a teenager. I had just turned 18.”

Moby, who is 16 years older than Portman, later apologised for behaving “inconsiderately and disrespectfully”.

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When asked about the scandal in a new interview with The Guardian, Moby said: “You know, you’re asking me to open up such a can of worms… 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.”

Reflecting on the negative press at the time, he said: “If you talk to my managers or people I work with, I only have one iron-clad rule, which is: don’t send me press links or reviews because I don’t read any of it.

“When the lunacy was happening a couple of years ago, I took refuge in my ignorance. Obviously it became hard to ignore, especially when I had the tabloids camped outside my door. But I guess I realised that if everyone in the world hates me I can still wake up in my same comfortable bed every morning and go hiking.”

Getty Images
Getty Images

When asked whether he regrets his behaviour towards Portman, he said: “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.”

Moby added: “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.”

A new documentary featuring Moby’s struggles with addiction and depression is set for release, and the artist hopes it will help counter any “misrepresentation” of who he really is.

The film, Moby Doc, includes discussion of his father’s suicide and his own problems with alcohol and the darker aspects of fame.

At one point in the film, he details how he slept through his mother’s funeral because he was “in bed, drunk, passed out”.

The documentary, featuring interviews with Moby’s close friend David Lynch, will be released on 28 May alongside Reprise, a new orchestral album reimagining some of the biggest hits of his career.

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