MOBY last night issued a grovelling apology to Natalie Portman after the actress branded him a a "creepy" older man for claiming the pair once dated.
The musician, 53, sparked outrage after saying in his new autobiography that he and then-18-year-old Natalie shared a romance when he was aged 33.
He then doubled down on his claims after the Hollywood star hit back by labelling Moby's claims as "disturbing" – denying that they were ever romantically involved.
But in a lengthy written apology on Saturday, Moby admitted he was wrong for including details of their apparent "relationship" in his book – titled Then It All Fell Apart – without her permission.
He also accepted that he should have "acted more responsibly and respectfully" when they first met in Austin, Texas, in 1999 – when Natalie was just a teenager.
On Instagram, Moby wrote: "As some time has passed I've realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then It Fell Apart are very valid.
I have a lot of admiration for Natalie, for her intelligence, creativity, and animal rights activism, and I hate that I might have caused her and her family distress
"I also fully recognize that it was truly inconsiderate of me to not let her know about her inclusion in the book beforehand, and equally inconsiderate for me to not fully respect her reaction.
"I have a lot of admiration for Natalie, for her intelligence, creativity, and animal rights activism, and I hate that I might have caused her and her family distress."
The Porcelain singer added: "I tried to treat everyone I included in Then It Fell Apart with dignity and respect, but nonetheless it was truly inconsiderate for me to not let them know before the book was released.
"So for that I apologize, to Natalie, as well as the other people I wrote about in Then It Fell Apart without telling them beforehand.
"Also I accept that given the dynamic of our almost 14 year age difference I absolutely should've acted more responsibly and respectfully when Natalie and I first met almost 20 years ago."
INSISTED PAIR DATED
It comes after Moby initially defended his claims by sharing a shirtless photograph of himself and Natalie, now 37, in an attempt to prove they once dated.
Alongside the shot of him and Natalie, Moby wrote: "I recently read a gossip piece wherein Natalie Portman said that we'd never dated.
"This confused me, as we did, in fact, date.
"And after briefly dating in 1999 we remained friends for years.
"I like Natalie, and I respect her intelligence and activism.
"But, to be honest, I can't figure out why she would actively misrepresent the truth about our (albeit brief) involvement.
"The story as laid out in my book Then It Fell Apart is accurate, with lots of corroborating photo evidence, etc. Thanks, Moby
"Ps I completely respect Natalie's possible regret in dating me (to be fair, I would probably regret dating me, too), but it doesn't alter the actual facts of our brief romantic history".
'CREEPY' OLDER MAN
Documenting their alleged relationship in his book, Moby wrote: "For a few weeks I had tried to be Natalie's boyfriend, but it hadn't worked out.
"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."
After the details surfaced online, Natalie claimed she never saw the musician as a partner – and she stopped hanging out with him because his intentions were "inappropriate".
She said: "I was surprised to hear that he characterised the very short time that I knew him as dating because my recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school.
"I was a fan and went to one of his shows when I had just graduated.
“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."
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