Natalie Portman is disputing claims made by Moby that the two had a brief romantic relationship 20 years ago. The 53-year old musician writes in his recent memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that the then-20-year old actress and he dated briefly in 1999 when he was 33.
Portman strongly rejected this interpretation of events in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar on Wednesday.
“I was a fan and went to one of his shows when I had just graduated,” she said. “When we met after the show, he said, ‘let’s be friends’. He was on tour and I was working, shooting a film, so we only hung out a handful of times before I realised that this was an older man who was interested in me in a way that felt inappropriate.”
The 37-year old Oscar-winner is currently married to dance choreographer Benjamin Millepied. The ballet dancer from France is 41 and has been married to Portman since 2012.
Here’s what you need to know about him.
1. The Two Met on the Set of Black Swan in 2009
According to Julie Jordan of People, Portman and Millepied met on the set of the 2010 film Black Swan. The Darren Aronofsky-helmed psychological horror earned Portman her first Oscar win for her role as ballet dancer Nina Sayers.
Millepied was the movie’s choreographer and also played the role of David Moreau and The Prince. When asked about her experience with the film shoot, Portman stated that she remembers meeting him more (per Us Magazine in 2017).
“So many people helped me prepare for this role,” a then-pregnant Portman said at the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011. “Mary Helen Bowersspent a year with me, training me. Michelle Rodriguez, and Kurt Froman,and Olga Kostritzky, Marina Stavitskaya, and my beautiful love, Benjamin Millepied, who choreographed the film and has now given me my most important role of my life.”
Portman gave birth to their son, Aleph Millepied-Portman on 14 June 2011 before they got hitched in August 2012.
2. Millepied Left His Live-In Ballerina Girlfriend for Portman After Meeting During Black Swan
According to OK! Magazine in late 2010, Millepied left his live-in girlfriend Isabella Boylston for Portman after Black Swan. She is a ballerina who worked with him at Baryshnikov’s 37 Arts Studios and on his show Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once in 2009.
Isabella was likely blind-sided as Natalie and Benjamin’s relationship unfolded this year. In January of 2010 she was still working with Benjamin and designed costumes for his production of 3 Movements for the Pacific Northwest Ballet.
They lived with each other in New York City’s East Village and vacationed with each other to various places such as Martha’s Vineyard and the Caribbean.
3. He Has Been Dancing Since Age 8 in Bordeaux, France
Millepied’s New York City Ballet bio states that Millepied was born in Bordeaux, a port city on the Garonne River in southwestern France. He started training at age 8 with his former ballet dancing mother.
Mr. Millepied entered the Conservatoire National in Lyon, France, at age 13, where he studied with Michel Rahn until he was 16 years old. He took summer classes at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, in the summer of 1992 and returned with a scholarship from the French Ministry (Bourse Lavoisier) to study full-time in the fall of 1993. Mr. Millepied originated a principal role in Jerome Robbins’ world premiere of 2 & 3 Part Inventions set to music by Bach at SAB’s 1994 Spring Workshop. Mr. Millepied was invited to become a member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet in 1995. He was promoted to the rank of soloist in 1998 and to principal dancer in the spring of 2002.
According to New York Magazine in 2009, he is a protege of Jerome Robbins. His style was described in the article, as well, when discussing his work at the time on Quasi Una Fantasia.
His signatures—intricately woven, slightly off-balance partnering; complex, evolving group patterns; and the celebration of female dancers as both powerful and mysterious—crystallize here into a movingly unified work, set to a haunting string score by Henryk Górecki.
In May 2002, he appeared in the nationally televised broadcast “New York City Ballet’s Diamond Project: Ten Years of New Choreography” on PBS, dancing in Jeu De Cartes, Mercurial Manoeuvres, and La Stravaganza. In 1994, he received the Prix de Lausanne Award, and is the recipient of SAB’s Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise for 1995.
He started choreography in 2001, and most recently choreographed Khovanshchina in 2012 at the Metropolitan Opera. He also directed the experimental music video Forest Swords: The Weight of Gold in 2014.
He also served as the director of the Paris Opera Ballet.
4. He & Portman Have Two Children Together
After giving birth to their first child shortly after Black Swan, Portman gave birth to a baby girl, Amalia Millepied, on Feb. 22, 2017. Per E! News:
Portman and her husband, a choreographer who worked with her on Black Swan and the former dance director of the Paris Opera Ballet, are also parents to 5-year-old son Aleph.
Portman largely kept a low profile during her pregnancy and has rarely talked about it publicly. Unlike many celebs, she did not document her pregnancy on social media and does not even maintain public accounts.
According to US! Magazine, they raise their children to eat vegan.
“It comes really naturally because I think, you know, you tend to make one thing that everyone eats for dinner,” Portman explained. “We tend to eat vegan and vegetarian food in the house. It becomes like the normal stuff that kids get used to.”
5. Millepied Planned to Convert to Judaism as Recently as 2014
Millepied told Haaretz in 2014 that he planned to convert to Judaism after visiting Israel with Portman. This was picked up by the Huffington Post:
Millepied was quoted on Wednesday as being “in the middle of the conversion process,” according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “I hope that soon it will come to an end and I will become a Jew.”
Portman is very outspoken about her Jewish faith, as well as her support of Israel. She was born in Jerusalem, and the two married in a Jewish ceremony in California.