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Being a woke vegan doesn’t excuse Moby his Natalie Portman jibes

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So, the Moby/Natalie Portman story went dark quickly. For those needing a recap: US singer/songwriter Moby wrote in his memoir, Then It Fell Apart, that they briefly dated when he was 33, and she was 20.

However, Portman said she’d been 18, a fan (Moby was massive at the time) and denied dating him, saying: “I realised that this was an older man who was interested in me in a way that felt inappropriate.” Moby then insisted that they’d dated, with the self-deprecating caveat: “I would probably regret dating me too.” He also tweeted a startling (backstage?) photo of himself shirtless and grinning manically, with an arm around Portman, who seems to me to be “smiling” with her mouth, but screaming with her eyes.

Still trying to be charitable, I wondered if this could be a misunderstanding (Moby’s) – a modern cautionary tale about deep-rooted delusion (again, Moby’s). Perhaps he had different ideas to Portman about what dating entailed, or built up their encounters? But Moby kept tweeting, with increasing sullenness, about people believing “lies and accusations” over “actual photographs and evidence”, before declaring he was off to save animals and the planet. Oh Lord, I thought, with a shiver, he’s one of them.

I suppose by “them”, I mean precisely the kind of self-avowed arty liberal type who’d react with peevish thin-skinned anger to being rejected, even if it’s almost 20 years after the fact. Going by Moby’s recollections in the memoir, alarm bells are ringing – even away from the sizeable age difference, him writing about their encounters at all, or describing not becoming Portman’s boyfriend as a “relief” (just double-checked, and Moby doesn’t mean a........

© The Guardian