Natalie Portman, Who Never Comments on Her Marriage, Just Commented on Her Marriage

After rumors swirled that her husband, Benjamin Millepied, had an affair, she called speculation about their relationship “terrible.”

Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When you look up “notoriously private celebrities,” you’ll find actress Natalie Portman’s name there. But, in a newly published Vanity Fair interview for the magazine’s 30th annual Hollywood issue, the May December star went there about her marriage to Benjamin Millepied, albeit briefly.

When asked about the period leading up to the release of May December, during which French outlet Voici published an article claiming Millepied had an extramarital affair, Portman responded “It’s terrible, and I have no desire to contribute to it.” 

After the interviewer admitted “[I] don’t love asking about it, either,” Portman responded “I can imagine.”

Vanity Fair Hollywood issue 2024

Portman is featured in the Hollywood issue of "Vanity Fair"

(Image credit: Vanity Fair)

Portman, who married Millepied in 2012 and shares two children with him, rarely comments on her personal life. After briefly discussing the rumors, she went on to discuss L.A. and Paris, calling them “complementary cities” that both feel like home to her. “I love having both in my life,” she said. “I lead a very non-Hollywood life in L.A. I live on the east side. I have some friends who are in the entertainment industry, but many friends who are not, and we don’t do industry things when we hang out. We’re not going to Hollywood parties, we’re having dinners at home in the backyard.”

She explained that living in L.A. actually made her “experience” of the city “much less ‘Hollywood’”: “When I would visit, it would only be for work, and I’d be staying somewhere in Beverly Hills, and I’d be having industry meetings and going to industry parties,” Portman said. “Living there made my experience much more rounded and appreciative of all the city has to offer, from nature to the arts, food to music, and, of course, the people.”

As for the City of Light, Portman said “And Paris, of course, is just a dream. I’m so lucky I get to live here and have an enormously stimulating city life with incredible friends.”

Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied

Portman and Millepied in 2022 at the "Vanity Fair" Oscars party

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Portman said she’s been conscious of her public perception since she first broke into Hollywood stardom as a young actress. “I got very protective of it very early on,” she said. “I chose a different name when I started, when was kind of an interesting way that I separated identities. I would get upset if someone at school called me Natalie Portman. I was like, if you know me, you know me as Natalie Hershlag at school. It was kind of an extreme bifurcation of identity that I’ve tried to integrate a little bit more as an adult.”

She continued “There wasn’t a ‘real’ me and a ‘pretend’ me,” adding “they didn’t necessarily have different names. And it’s not just two different versions. There are multitudes of ways other people see me, both public and private, and there are multitudes of ways I see myself. Somehow the intersection of all of those are part of me, and it’s important to have all of those within me and as me, as opposed to being like, that’s some external thing, this is the real thing. As I started having kids and a family, I started realizing that maybe it was not helpful to be like, there’s two of me.” On the subject, she concluded “I have many interactions during my day as a public person. To exclude that from my experience is not real.”

Natalie Portman

Portman has been acting since she was young and has dealt with the pressures of fame nearly as long as she can remember

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Portman and Millepied first met when he choreographed Black Swan and trained Portman in the art of ballet. By the time filming wrapped, they were dating, and Portman went on to win the Best Actress Oscar for her role in the film. “I met my husband on it [the set of Black Swan], so I think I was in, like, dreamland,” Portman said in a 2018 SiriusXM Town Hall interview. “It seemed pretty fun the whole time. We had a whole, like, he was teaching me to dance.”

As for his alleged affair, a source told People that it “was short-lived, and it is over,” adding “He knows he made an enormous mistake and he is doing all he can to get Natalie to forgive him and keep their family together.” 

Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied

Millepied and Portman married in 2012, and they share two children

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As to the current status of their relationship, Page Six reports that they are working through their issues and that they have not ended their relationship, despite Portman being seen without her wedding ring last year. “They have not split and are trying to work things out,” they said. “Ben is doing everything he can to get Natalie to forgive him. He loves her and their family.” They added that Portman is “incredibly private” and that her biggest focus is “protecting the kids.”

“Ultimately I think as a couple, you automatically learn from one another, and hopefully feed each other in ways that are positive,” Millepied told Vanity Fair in 2016. “But I think, work…we keep very separate. I think that’s important.” 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.