In a recent interview, Portman said she was "confused" as a teenager at the image of Simpson on the cover of a magazine saying "I'm a virgin" while clad in a bikini. Simpson later tweeted that she was "disappointed" in the comments, and accused Portman of shaming other women for their choices. ET spoke to Portman on Wednesday, where she apologized and clarified that she didn't mean to shame Simpson.
A source close to Simpson tells ET that “she was really hurt when she read Natalie’s comments and was appreciative that she clarified what she meant by it.”
"It’s very important to Jessica to be a good role model and to be supportive of women," the source adds.
ET spoke to Portman about her new film, Vox Lux, when she addressed the controversial comments. Portman's quote to USA Today reads, “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.”
Portman clarified to ET, "I would never intend to shame anybody and that was absolutely not my intention. 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."
"What I said was I was confused by mixed messages when I was a young girl growing up, and there are a lot of messages for how women should be, and women should be allowed to do whatever they want," she continued.
But she did acknowledge that she shouldn't have called out anyone specific.
"It is a mistake to say anyone's name," she said. "I could have made my message without naming."
Portman also apologized directly to Simpson by leaving a comment on the fashion mogul's initial Instagram post. Simpson wrote, "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 our image is not totally in our control at all times, and that the industry we work in often tries to define us and box us in. 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,” she continued. “The power lies within us as individuals. 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.”