How Natalie Portman Responded To Rumors Of Her Husband's Infidelity

If only there were no strings attached to being a celebrity. Natalie Portman finally addressed reports that Benjamin Millepied cheated on her, but her complaint was not about her husband's rumored behavior — it was about anyone interested in it.

The French publication Voici broke the affair story in June 2023. Millepied's paramour was reportedly a French environmentalist named Camille Étienne, who is twenty years his junior. A source told Us Weekly that Portman was understandably upset but wasn't ready to give up on her marriage for the sake of her two kids, son Aleph and daughter Amalia. "Natalie believes Benjamin's affair was a brief and stupid liaison that means nothing to him," the insider added. Meanwhile, a People source weighed in with Millepied's purported feelings about the situation, saying, "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." 

Portman and Millepied remained tight-lipped about the infidelity claims, even as tabloids continued publishing updates about the state of their odd marriage. In August 2023, it was reported that the pair's efforts to repair their relationship and move past the ordeal had failed. Fueling the claim that the couple had separated was Portman's decision to leave her wedding ring finger bare when she attended a conference in Germany the following month. However, she didn't confirm that her marriage was over when the topic came up during a February 2024 Vanity Fair interview.

Natalie Portman's struggle to keep her two lives separate

When asked how she felt about the reporting on her love life, Natalie Portman told Vanity Fair, "It's terrible, and I have no desire to contribute to it." Right before she let the magazine know that she would not be talking about her marriage, she'd spoken about the difficulty of being a public figure who would prefer for her private life to remain that way. "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," she added. "I have many interactions during my day as a public person. To exclude that from my experience is not real."

Portman might have learned that it's impossible to completely separate the spheres she lives in, but her refusal to talk about her marriage shows that she can exercise some control over what happens in them. While her aforementioned public interactions may not include any mentions of her marriage, there are other ways to steer that narrative without creating the expectation that she'll talk about it in every interview. A day after the Vanity Fair piece was published, Portman and Benjamin Millepied stepped out in public together — but neither was wearing their wedding ring. They were photographed looking relaxed and happy as they strolled down a Los Angeles sidewalk with their children. The strategic message they were sending seemed to be consciously uncoupled and peacefully co-parenting.

Natalie Portman was deemed a victim of karma

Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied married in 2012 but first met on the set of the 2010 movie "Black Swan." Millepied is a former ballet dancer who served as the film's choreographer, as well as dancing in it himself. A source told Page Six in January 2010 that the couple initially tried to keep their relationship hush-hush because Millepied was dating someone else when filming began on "Black Swan." His former girlfriend was ballerina Isabella Boylston, whom he had been seeing for three years. The pair were so serious about their relationship that they had moved in together, and Boylston was reportedly expecting Millepied to put a ring on it. 

Per The Guardian, Millepied dumped Boylston to date Portman. Boylston was performing with the American Ballet Theatre at the time, and one of her fellow dancers said that the consensus among the members of the company was that Millepied had treated his ex "pretty brutally and unchivalrously." But Portman was smitten. In December 2010, Portman and Millepied announced they were engaged and expecting their first child. Coincidentally, the trailer for Portman's movie "The Other Woman" dropped that same month.

In response to the reports about Millepied being unfaithful, some Redditors suggested that karma caught up with the couple. "Seems she learned the lesson you lose 'em how you get 'em," one person wrote. As for Millepied, another commenter opined, "I'm glad he lost his wife as a result of his actions."