Wikipedia calls Moby a pioneer of electronic music in the aughts, but today’s headlines confirm Moby is now a three-time, eye-roll-inducing author adamant that, no really guys, he actually, like, really did date Natalie Portman.
In his newly released memoir (his second in four years) Then It Fell Apart, Moby reminisces about a supposedly brief relationship with the actress in 1999 when he was 33 and Portman was 20. He claims they met at a gig in Austin, Texas, which led to attending parties together and even a trip to see a day in her life as a student at Harvard University. “For a few weeks I had tried to be Natalie’s boyfriend, but it hadn’t worked out,” he writes, according to The Guardian.
Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar this week, Portman disputed that they dated and called Moby “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. There was no fact checking from him or his publisher—it almost feels deliberate,” Portman told the magazine. “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.”
Upon hearing her side of the story, Moby decided posting a shirtless photo of himself with a young Portman (wearing a t-shirt with the words “Milk Fed”—it’s a big week for milk) was just the proof he needed after that “gossip piece” in Harper’s Bazaar to show not only that “we did, in fact, date,” but also that they even “remained friends for years.” He then goes on to characterize Portman as an intelligent activist misrepresenting the truth, before plugging his book. “The story as laid out in my book Then It Fell Apart is accurate, with lots of corroborating photo evidence, etc. Thanks, Moby,” he writes
According to Stereogum, Moby also writes in Then It Fell Apart about a brief romance with Lana Del Rey, then known as Lizzy Grant—another anecdote that comes across like an overestimation of his own romantic prowess. Since she refused to go home with him after the two had just met, Moby doesn’t wait a full day before wining, dining and again inviting her over to his five-floor New York penthouse. From Then It Fell Apart:
“Floors in an apartment.” She shook her head. “Moby you know you’re the man.”
“Ha, thanks,” I said.
“No, not like that. You’re a rich WASP from Connecticut and you live in a five-level penthouse. You’re ‘The Man.’ As in, ‘stick it to The Man.’ As in the person they guillotine in the revolution.”
I didn’t know if she was insulting me but I decided to take it as a compliment.
After he kissed her, Del Rey dodged Moby, saying “I like you. But I hear you do this with a lot of people.” Moby writes that because it’d have been a lie to call himself “chaste, sane, and ethical,” he said nothing and walked Del Rey to the twenty-ninth floor, kissing her in front of the elevators.
This wasn’t how I imagined the night ending. I’d assumed that we would end up christening my new apartment with vodka and sex. But to my surprise, this was almost nicer.
Apart from unrequited affairs with female celebrities, Moby spent the 2000s writing prolifically in his blog about a number of subjects. With over 414 pages of posts dating from October 2000 to June 2018, Moby has imparted his thoughts on everything from the “sprawling hydra headed monster eating everything in it’s path” that is Los Angeles to George W. Bush being a “moron.”
Foreign policy is a favorite topic for the musician. Five days after 9/11, Moby outlined his strategy for how to handle Osama bin Laden. If the United States government would just hire the best graphic designers to create a pamphlet depicting bin Laden “drinking, gambling, and having sex with prostitutes” and distributed the piece of propaganda throughout Islamic countries, then bin Laden’s “reputation would be destroyed,” he insisted, adding, “please don’t laugh. This really would work.”
In recent years, he’s taken aim at Donald Trump. In a February 2017 Facebook post, Moby claimed his friends in the CIA told him they were working on establishing Trump’s connection to the Russian government, saying the infamous pee tape was “100 percent real.” Nearly a year later, he told the Kentucky radio WFPK that his CIA friends asked him to share the information publicly.
“So they passed on some information to me and they said, like, ‘Look, you have more of a social media following than any of us do, can you please post some of these just in a way that…sort of put it out there,’” he said, according to The A.V. Club. The CIA has 2.59 million Twitter followers, while Moby has 1.2 million.
Moby is on his book tour through the beginning of June. Expect more bold statements.
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