“Then It Fell Apart” has proven to be all too self-fulfilling a title for Moby’s second memoir.
Anyone hoping to see fireworks in the Q&A portions of the remaining dates on his book tour will be disappointed. He’s canceled all outstanding appearances in the wake of a flap over his and Natalie Portman’s drastically conflicting accounts of whether or not they ever became romantically involved 20 years ago.
An Instagram post dramatically framed the words “last post” — followed by a period — in a sea of white space, followed by a long caption that began by vowing: “I’m going to go away for awhile. But before I do, I want to apologize again, and to say clearly that all of this has been my own fault.”
The producer/DJ/artist was scheduled to make ticketed appearances promoting his second autobiography at the UK’s Hay Festival on June 1, followed by the Manchester Literary Festival, Earth London and Dublin’s Liberty Hall. “All tickets will be refunded at the point of purchase, and Moby is happy to provide signed bookplates to everyone who bought tickets to these events,” read an announcement on his website.
In the remainder of Moby’s Instagram post, he did not deny the veracity of any stories he’d previously told, but apologized profusely in other regards. “I’m the one who released the book without showing it to the people I wrote about,” he said. “I’m the one who posted defensively and arrogantly. I’m the one who behaved inconsiderately and disrespectfully, both in 1999 and 2019. There is obviously no one to blame but me. Thank you, and I’m sorry.”
In his book, Moby had described Portman — then 18, though he said she was 20 — as “flirting” with him backstage, followed by further meetings he characterized as dating, before she broke up with him. “For a few weeks I had tried to be Natalie’s boyfriend, but it hadn’t worked out,” he wrote. “I thought that I was going to have to tell her that my panic was too egregious for me to be in a real relationship, but one night on the phone she informed me that she’d met somebody else. I was relieved that I’d never have to tell her how damaged I was.”
The passages concerning Portman in Moby’s book had gone generally unremarked upon (there’d been more public discussion of an excerpt involving Lana Del Rey talking about class differences among pop stars), until the actress spoke up in a Harper’s Bazaar interview to say that his account of their relationship was essentially a fiction. To her, the word “dating” didn’t apply; “my recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school.”
Moby was initially aggrieved by Portman’s denial of their alleged romance, posting photos of them together as “photo evidence” that they were as physically affectionate as he claimed. His defensiveness and claims that Portman defenders were threatening him with violence did not dissuade the tide of public opinion from turning against him, nor did his subsequent initial apology in which he said that “it was truly inconsiderate of me to not let her know about her inclusion in the book beforehand.”