It isn't unusual for celebrities to fake love for publicity.
It was revealed in 2017 that Drake and Jennifer Lopez orchestrated their relationship to appear more serious than it was, and Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift had a particularly clumsy PR relationship that backfired magnificently. Now, Moby, the 55-year-old Techno DJ whose once fruitful career has deteriorated into making ambient music for a sleep aid, is trying to play the same game. But this time, his counterpart isn't in on the hoax. "I was a bald binge-drinker who lived in an apartment that smelled like mildew and old bricks, and Natalie Portman was a beautiful movie star," Moby wrote in his latest memoir Then It Fell Apart. "But here she was in my dressing room, flirting with me." He goes on to describe a magical night of walking under "old oak trees" and holding hands before returning to Portman's dorm room. "After she fell asleep I carefully extracted myself from her arms and took a taxi back to my hotel."
In the opening lines of an interview with Bazaar, Portman took the opportunity to deny the relationship vehemently. "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 had just graduated high school." She went on to say that no fact-checking had been done by either Moby or his publisher prior to the book's publication, making this PR stunt "feel deliberate." She theorized that he had figured that tossing her name into his life story would help the book sell copies, which it inevitably did. Moby landed a slew of high-profile interviews as a result of the claims. He appeared coy when asked about the alleged fling on Wendy Williams, choosing to elaborate on the success of his record Play instead of answering. When Williams asked him point-blank to confirm the relationship, he went mum. Yet, after Portman's denial, Moby suddenly had a lot to say and was quick to push back, resharing an awkward photo with the actress and doubling down on his claim that they dated; he chose to completely ignore the other allegation that she was in high school at the time.
These exaggerated claims aren't the only ones Moby's made in his memoir. He also wrote that he hooked up with Lana Del Ray, put his bare penis on Donald Trump's leg during a party, and discussed Portman's hotness with Joe Perry at the VMAs. In a separate interview with The Guardian, Moby, who identifies as vegan, also said his drug addiction was so bad at one point that he "went out and bought $300-worth of cocaine, a case of vodka, and a big bag of McDonald's and put it all into a blender." In the same interview, he also claimed to have invented the iPhone. Separately, he said that he's had a "sevensome...or an eightsome," and he's, in all seriousness, said that one of his "major goals in life" was to just "start walking" in a random direction and see what happens.
Such outrageous feats of braggadocio paint the picture of an unfettered man pining to be a rockstar and remain in the spotlight. His history of fame-seeking is also deep-rooted in his music. Every single track off of his fifth and most popular album,
Play, was sold and licensed to be used in commercials, a move that decimated his reputation in the Techno community. Yet, in the wake of #MeToo, Moby's inability to recognize the severity of Portman's accusations is disturbing and will no doubt bring a lot of Moby's crazy anecdotes into further question. "The trend toward PR relationships seems to have tailed off in a social media age," wrote VICE. "Which relies more on transparency and honesty than deception and manipulation." While Moby's claims would have generated a good amount of buzz 10 years ago, the same deceptive antics in 2019 paint a different picture, one of a washed-up white guy who wants to be cool more than empathetic and genuine.