The only time I ever met Moby, he saved me from a rattlesnake.
That’s an exaggeration, but let me explain. I had interviewed him at his home in the Hollywood Hills and he mentioned that a rattler was living under front stairs of his house, urging me to show caution when leaving. But Moby wasn’t even satisfied with that, aware that the snake had recently become a mother and was fierce in protecting her babies. Moby accompanied me to the stairs, leading the way to keep me safe, and quickly stopping me when he spotted the mama looking agitated. From there, he did what any host would do: he made sure I didn’t get bitten by a rattlesnake. We turned around and walked through his home so I could exit through a back door — perhaps through more of the house than he’d prefer to show visitors — and safe from all of the poisonous reptiles he was aware of on his property.
I tell this story sometimes for laughs, fully aware that Moby didn’t really save my life, but knowing that if you squint hard enough, this framing of the story is technically the truth. The same kind of logic permeates Moby’s latest journey into the news cycle, with the details of his recently released memoir, Then It Fell Apart, coming to light. Though Moby prefaces the book by claiming all the stories to be true, there is a dubiousness to human recollection that casts doubt onto how some things are presented. And in a book where our hero accidentally saves his mother’s life, rubs his d*ck on Donald Trump, and manages romantic encounters with the likes of Natalie Portman, Lana Del Rey, and Christina Ricci, it’s hard for the casual onlooker to know where truth ends and fantasy begins.
Moby doesn’t leave a lot of room for interpretation in his depictions of his “relationship” with Portman in his book (and, it should be said, the book isn’t the first time Moby has made such claims). In excerpts pointed out by Stereogum, the pair meet backstage after a show, with Portman, “a beautiful movie star,” showing up and flirting with him. Later they meet up at the 1999 MTV Movie Awards and hold hands at a hotel afterparty, where fellow much-older man Steven Tyler comments on Portman’s “hotness.” And finally, Moby recalls hanging with Portman at Harvard, “kissing under the centuries-old oak trees” and falling asleep next to each other in her dorm room. It might seem innocuous, if not for the fact that the events take place in the year 1999, the same year Portman turned 18. Moby, 16 years older than Portman and an already-successful musician, could easily be seen as capitalizing on his standing to romance an impressionable teen. You don’t need to squint to make that connection.