Jessica Simpson Hits Back at Natalie Portman for Shaming Her Bikini ‘Virgin’ Photo
UPDATE: Natalie Portman has issued an apology to Jessica Simpson after seemingly shaming her in an interview. The actress told ET Online her words were misconstrued.
She said she was speaking on "mixed media messages," not shaming Simpson for wearing a bikini on the cover of a magazine while she was still a virgin.
"I would never intend to shame anybody and that was absolutely not my intention," Portman said. "I was really talking about mixed media messages out there for young women and completely apologize for any hurt it may have caused because that was definitely not my intention."
The singer took to Twitter to address comments Portman, 37, made about the shoot while speaking with USA Today. Simpson said in her post that she was "disappointed" by the interview, adding that she was "not totally" in control of her image at the time. She went on to note that showing off and being proud of her body has nothing to do with having sex.
"@Natalieportman - I was disappointed this morning when I read that I 'confused' you by wearing a bikini in a published photo taken of me when I was still a virgin in 1999. As public figures, we both know out image is not totally in our control at all time, and that the industry we work in often tries to define us and box us in," Simpson wrote.
"However, I 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. I have always embraced being a role model to all women to let them know that they can look however they want, wear whatever they want and have sex or not have sex with whomever they want. The power lies within us as individuals."
Simpson, 38, continued, "I have made it my practice to not shame other women for their choices. In this era of Time's Up and all the great work you have done for women, I encourage you to do the same."
In the interview, Portman said she feels musicians have it easier than actors. She also said that while music was a big part of her life, she struggled with the contrast in the industry and the message it was sending to listeners.
"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," she said.
Conversely, she praised Madonna for being "provocative," saying she had a big influence on her growing up.
"I felt really luck to have her as a little kid, because I saw someone who was brazen and disobedient and provocative and trying to mess with people and always changing - I though it was a great thing to see in a woman growing up," Portman told the outlet.