Moby Would Rather Not Discuss That Whole Natalie Portman Thing, But, Well, OK, If You Insist
Moby gave an interview to The Guardian promoting Reprise, his new album featuring reinterpretations of his catalog, and the accompanying surrealist documentary Moby Doc. Inevitably, the subject of Moby’s 2019 memoir Then It Fell Apart came up. That was the book in which he claimed to have once dated a young Natalie Portman, which led to a denial from Portman (who framed their interactions as “creepy” predatory behavior by an older man), an apology from Moby, and the cancellation of his book tour so he could “go away for a while.”
So, does he regret writing about his experience with Portman? “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 says. He continues, “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.” After affirming that he believes everything he wrote in the book was true, he evokes a chess move known as a fork:
You know, you’re asking me to open up such a can of worms. It reminds me of my favorite chess move, which my uncle taught me, where you move your knight so that it puts the king in check but also is going to take the castle. 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.
There is also this response to whether he would call his interactions with Portman “creepy,” as she did:
I wouldn’t use that word. But when I was an out-of-control alcoholic and drug addict I definitely acted selfish and incredibly inconsiderately towards family members and friends and girlfriends and people I worked with. But again, part of the 12-step program is that it’s a program of rigorous honesty. I don’t want to sound too much like a cliche ageing musician in southern California, but the idea of genuinely looking at your actions and making amends for them is a process that I believe I’ve gone through pretty thoroughly. And it does make me sad that I probably don’t do an effective enough job trying to communicate the addiction struggle and contextualize the stories that way.
Moby is also sticking by his story that if everyone went vegan, there would be no pandemics, a claim that got flagged as misinformation on various social media platforms and earned him the title of “electronica easy-listening artist” on Politifact — perhaps the most unexpected sick burn since NBC News slagged off Paul Simon as “a historical footnote to Dylan.”