Jessica Simpson has taken exception to something Natalie Portman has said about her.
Portman’s been making the rounds promoting her new film, “Vox Lux,” about a teen who becomes a pop star after a song she writes honoring a tragedy goes viral.
The 37-year-old actress plays the adult version of the character, who ages through the course of the film.
“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,” Portman said. “Like, I don’t know what this is trying to tell me as a woman, as a girl.”
Simpson, who was a teen-pop sensation in the late ’90s and early 2000s, was not thrilled by the shoutout and posted a statement to Portman on social media Wednesday.
“@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,” the statement began. “As public figures, we both know our image is not totally in our control at all times, and that the industry we work in often often tries to define us and box us in.”
Simpson went on to say, “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,” Simpson went on to say in her statement. “The power lies within us as individuals.”
She ended her note with what could be viewed as a dig at Portman’s high-profile association with the #TimesUp movement.
“I have made it my practice to not shame other women for their choices,” Simpson posted. “In this era of Times Up and the great work you have done for women, I encourage you to do the same.”
In case you were wondering, Twitter is here for every bit of this “feud.”
Some believe that Simpson made the issue about her while Portman seemed to be making a statement about the music industry as a whole.
“If you ACTUALLY READ the Natalie Portman quote, she’s clearly not criticizing Jessica Simpson for wearing a bikini so much as pointing out the confusing double standards of early 2000s pop stars, who were expected to present as both virginal and hypersexual,” tweeted BuzzFeed editor Louis Peitzman.
Portman responded to Simpson on her Instagram post and started by thanking her for her words.
“I completely agree with you that a woman should be allowed to dress however she likes and behave however she likes and not be judged,” Portman wrote in the comments. “I only meant to say I was confused — as a girl coming of age in the public eye around the same time — by the media’s mixed messages about how girls and women were supposed to behave.”
“I didn’t mean to shame you and I’m sorry for any hurt my words may have caused,” Portman added. “I have nothing but respect for your talent and your voice that you use to encourage and empower women all over the globe.”