Natalie Portman seems to have quickly brushed aside her short-lived misunderstanding with Jessica Simpson as she smiled for the cameras in a chic suit at the premiere of her film Vox Lux in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
The 37-year-old actress was all smiles at the event just hours after publicly apologizing to Simpson for her comments over a 1999 bikini picture of the virginal singer, as reported by the Daily Mail. Portman was accused of “shaming” Simpson after she told USA Today on Tuesday that a picture of the scantily-clad virgin had left her “confused” as a teenager herself.
“I remember being a teenager, and there was Jessica Simpson on the cover of a magazine saying ‘I’m a virgin’ while wearing a bikini, and I was confused. Like, I don’t know what this is trying to tell me as a woman, as a girl,” the Oscar winner, who plays a pop star in her new movie, said while reflecting on the singers she grew up listening to.
One day later, Simpson took to social media to share her thoughts on Portman’s comments, saying that she was “disappointed” to hear them and that she has made it a personal rule not to shame other women.
“We both know our image is not totally in our control at all times, and that the industry we work in often tries to define us and box us in,” she started off, adding she “was taught to be myself and honor the different ways all women express themselves, which is why I believed then — and I believe now — that being sexy in a bikini and being proud of my body are not synonymous with having sex.”
She continued saying she has embraced the fact that she has become a role model for all sorts of women, letting them know they can be whoever they want, and finished her post by acknowledging Portman’s role in the Time’s Up movement and encouraging her to continue supporting other women and not “shaming” them.
While many applauded the MTV star’s decision to intervene, others said Portman was mainly discussing more the way media portrayed young women at the time and not so much Simpson’s decision to pose in a bikini as a virgin. Regardless, the Black Swan actress was quick to apologize, saying she was “sorry for any hurt” her words may have caused and “didn’t mean to shame” her.
“I have nothing but respect for your talent and your voice that you use to encourage and empower women,” she stated. Natalie Portman is playing a pop star in her upcoming movie Vox Lux, who, like Simpson, rose to fame around 1999.