TINFOIL covers the windows of a downtown apartment in New York – it’s 5am and a weekend-long orgy fuelled by alcohol and drugs is only just coming to an end.
This is the hideaway of multi-million pound singer songwriter, Moby, who had sex with any woman that said yes and got by on a diet of champagne, vodka and ecstasy.
For a decade after the 1999 release of his Grammy-nominated album Play, Moby, now 53, lived the rock star life.
Addicted to celebrity parties and one night stands, Moby craved the validation that came with rubbing shoulders with music legends like David Bowie, Bono, Sir Mick Jagger and Madonna.
He recently detailed his alleged romance with Natalie Portman, although she slapped down the claims and insisted he had behaved like a "creepy older man" around her.
Despite his fame and fortune, Moby found dating women hard and so started his trips to strip clubs to satisfy his needs.
Rules of attraction
“I realised that some of the strippers would actually date me and be nice to me,” Moby recalls in his autobiography Then It Fell Apart, before pinpointing the exact moment this happened – which was when he was surrounded by exotic dancers at a club.
“One of the strippers turned to me, kissed me with her wide open mouth and said, ‘Man, I’m taking you home tonight.’
“The other took a long drink from an open bottle of vodka and said, ‘Well honey, if you need help banging him, you just let me know.’”
So began years of flings, drugs and desperate attempts to fill a dark void inside himself.
Soon, if Moby wasn’t having sex, drinking or doing drugs, he was thinking about it.
Never was this clearer than after a gig in London’s Kings Cross in 1999.
Fresh from a storming set the star was ready to party – and have sex with someone – but had the crushing realisation that no-one was interested.
“How badly was I failing as a musician that I couldn’t even find someone to flirt with at my own party?” he says.
Leaving the bash, he spotted a prostitute standing by a bus stop.
Although he has dated a variety of sex workers, the star has never actually handed over cash to sleep with someone – but on this occasion he was tempted.
He didn’t though, instead fantasising about falling in love with her before heading back to his hotel.
Desperate for love
It was a different story following a concert near the Moulin Rouge in Paris.
Moby was introduced to a woman who looked like “a beautiful elf” by a friend, and he ended up at her apartment near the Arc de Triomphe.
The pair engaged in light conversation (which he thinks bored her) as he wanted to get to know the woman he “was probably going to have sex with”.
They did – but his account is anything but erotic.
“We took off our clothes and had sex on the damp, wine-stained sheets while her dog paced and whined around us,” he says of the awkward encounter.
As Play began selling more copies, Moby found it easier to bed women on tour and justified his promiscuity by telling himself he was looking for love.
After Glastonbury 2000, he ripped a mirror off the wall of his hotel suite so he could watch himself making love to a woman he’d just met.
He said: “We spent the next few hours having sex and looking into each other’s eyes.”
His wild behaviour began extending into all areas of his life, with the star admitting he even accepted a risky dare involving now US President Donald Trump in 2001.
“I drank a shot of vodka, pulled my flaccid penis out of my trousers and casually brushed the edge of his jacket with my penis,” he recalls.
Crippled by anxiety
Nothing was off limits for Moby, and by now his sexual desires seemed to be effecting the kind of fans he attracted too.
In 2005, Moby was interrupted by a woman in a gold jumpsuit in St Petersburg who demanded that he signed her “p***y”.
“I’ve signed arms, legs, stomachs, breasts, necks, foreheads, hands, feet, but never the area around someone’s genitals,” he says.
Afterwards he had sex with the fan, who wanted to make her boyfriend jealous.
Moby admits he craved validation as a way of numbing the pain of his crippling anxiety and depression.
All he wanted was to love someone and be loved in return.
But every time he tried to get close to women, he would panic and recoil back into isolation.
One relationship ended when his frustration and anger boiled over until he punched himself in the face again and again.
“For a second it felt good and even justified,” he says. “I had punched myself in my worthless face. Then I was scared because I didn’t know if I was sane.”
'Creepy' or loving?
This was the same anxiety Moby felt when his claimed relationship with Natalie Portman came to an end.
In his memoir, the musician claims the pair dated when he was 33 and she was 20, after she met him backstage in Austin, Texas.
He recounts “kissing under oak trees” and sleepovers at her dorm room.
“We lay down next to each other on her small bed and after she fell asleep I carefully extracted myself from her arms and took a taxi back to my hotel,” he writes.
Natalie has since criticised “creepy” Moby over his “disturbing” account of their friendship.
She said: “My recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school.
“He said I was 20; I definitely wasn’t. I was a teenager. I had just turned 18.”
He hit back with an Instagram post insisting they were very much an item – but says he understands if she "regretted" it.
As the years wore on and Moby's fame began to dwindle, things became increasingly hard for the star.
He was used to mixing with the A-list at glitzy parties, but soon the invites stopped coming and he found himself ever more anxious and ashamed.
Devastated that a longed-for hit just wasn't coming and battling fears others saw him as a joke, a faded rocker, Moby tried to kill himself in 2008.
That proved the catalyst for a massive life change.
He's since given up the booze and become better known for his veganism and work on animal rights than his wild partying.
As well as a vegan restaurant, Moby has released photography books and two memoirs – but he still works on music too.
Recalling the life-changing AA meeting he went to at that point, Moby writes: "Fame hadn’t solved my problems and even my last loves, alcohol and degeneracy, didn’t work any more.
"I settled into my chair and thought, I’m done."
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