“Thank you for your 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, 37, commented on Simpson’s Instagram about the actress’ remarks on Wednesday, December 5. “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.”
She added that she “didn’t mean to shame” Simpson.
Portman concluded: “I’m sorry for any hurt my words may have caused. I have nothing but respect for your talent and your voice that you use to encourage and empower women all over the globe.”
The actress, who plays a pop star in her new film, Vox Lux, referenced the 38-year-old fashion designer in a story published by USA Today on Tuesday, December 4.
Jessica Simpson's Style Transformation
Jessica Simpson's Style Transformation
Jessica was sparkly in this tight black dress at the Billboard Music Awards.
A little rain would never hold Jess back, in a bedazzled pink dress for the 27th Annual American Music Awards.
We think Jess was channeling Britney Spears' red leather suit from her "Oops I Did it Again" music video when she attended the 2001 American Music Awards.
Jessica attended the event honoring Janet Jackson in a dress that matched her highlighted hair. If we're being honest, it looks a little like a child took scissors to the dress and just kept cutting!
Jess blew a kiss to the camera, wearing daisy duke shorts and a very long, very metallic and midriff-baring vest.
Jess attended the 15th Carousel Of Hope Ball this this neutral embellished strapless gown.
The singer wore a short sparkly dress to the MTV Bash.
Bleach blonde and tan, Jessica showed off some cleavage in this white suit at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Jess went pink from head-to-toe (literally, those are pink highlights) in this jumpsuit for the 31st Annual American Music Awards.
Simpson attended the Golden Globes in this strapless gown with a floral accent on the neckline.
Ah... the 2000s, a time for wide flowing pants and crop tops.
Jessica left little to the imagination in this gold shimmering gown by Donna Karan during 2004 VH1 Divas.
Simpson looked pretty and youthful at the 5th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, wearing a grey tulle strapless dress.
Jess chose sheer graphic print accents for her People's Choice Awards dress in 2005.
Jess looked classic and elegant at the 2005 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
Decked out in red floral Chanel Couture for the Costume Institute Gala at the Met, Jess struck a pose.
She chose a simple blue dress and metallic heels for the L.A. premiere of "The Dukes of Hazzard".
Jessica belted her flowy top and paired it with black accents for the MTV Video Music Awards.
Jess looked striking at the Gucci Spring 2006 Fashion Show to Benefit Children's Action Network and Westside Children's Center.
From blonde to red! She chose a coral cocktail dress for the 2006 NCLR ALMA Awards while rocking her new 'do.
Back to blonde just in time for the CFDA awards, Simpson wore a short lace dress and metallic heels.
Jess attended the 2006 Teen Choice Awards in a cream dress with a full skirt and strappy sandals.
For the premiere of "Employee of the Month," Jessica wore this pretty Oscar de la Renta polka-dotted tulle dress.
The Costume Institute Gala in 2007 was themed "Poiret: King of Fashion," but we think Jessica's metallic Roberto Cavalli gown combined with her darker locks was just a bit too Jessica Rabbit.
Simpson wore this ruched halter dress during the opening of Just Cavalli's New York flagship store.
Jessica attended a gala to celebrate Macy's 150th birthday in New York, wearing a coat with a fur collar.
Jess wore this lace dress for the launch of her fragrance "Fancy" at Dillards in Arizona.
Jess wore a simple black patterned dress for a QVC event in October.
Simpson attended the 2010 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in a sleek one-shouldered silk gown (with pockets -- our favorite accent!).
Jess attended the 2010 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in this highlighter-yellow dress.
Jess attended an event in Hollywood, wearing a grey and black dress with a serious peplum.
Jessica attended an opening for a Casino in this body-conscious nude dress with metallic embellishments, carrying a simple clutch.
Jessica celebrated her collaboration with Macy's in a little black dress with a not-so-little shoulder accent.
Jess attended the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Plaza in all black.
Jessica sizzled in a patterned mini dress at the Us Weekly "Hot Hollywood" Party.
Jess promoted her new tween line for girls "Jessica Simpson Girls," showing off a cute baby bump in the process!
Jessica was glowing -- from her pregnancy as well as her shimmering dress!
Simpson, wearing a Jessica Simpson Maternity maxi dress to show off baby number two.
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“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 told the newspaper “Like, I don’t know what this is trying to tell me as a woman, as a girl.”
Simpson clapped back at the Star Wars actress in a lengthy statement shared on social media on 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,” wrote the “With You” singer, who previously revealed she remained a virgin until her 2002 marriage to Nick Lachey. “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.”
Natalie Portman out and about
Natalie Portman out and about
WESTWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Actress Natalie Portman arrives for the premiere of Paramount Pictures' 'Annihilation' held at Regency Village Theatre on February 13, 2018 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Actress Natalie Portman attends the Los Angeles premiere of 'Annihilation' at Regency Village Theatre on February 13, 2018 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 05: Natalie Portman speaks onstage during The 2018 MAKERS Conference at NeueHouse Hollywood on February 5, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for MAKERS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 05: Natalie Portman attends The 2018 MAKERS Conference at NeueHouse Hollywood on February 5, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 1738 'Natalie Portman' -- Pictured: (l-) Mikey Day, Natalie Portman during 'Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards' sketch in Studio 8H on Saturday, February 3, 2018 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 1738 'Natalie Portman' -- Pictured: Natalie Portman during the opening monologue in Studio 8H on Saturday, February 3, 2018 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20: Actress Natalie Portman attends the women's march Los Angeles on January 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: America Ferrera and Natalie Portman attend the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: (L-R) Singer Mariah Carey, actors America Ferrera, Natalie Portman and Emma Stone, and former tennis player Billie Jean King attend The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Actor Natalie Portman (R) and journalist Jada Yuan speak onstage during Vulture Festival LA presented by AT&T at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on November 19, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Natalie Portman speaks onstage during the 31st Annual American Cinematheque Awards Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 10, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 07: Actors Natalie Portman (L) and Rashida Jones arrive at the L.A. Dance Project's Annual Gala at L.A. Dance Project on October 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
SANTA MONICA, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Actress Natalie Portman arrives at the 27th Annual EMA Awards at Barker Hangar on September 23, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
TELLURIDE, CO - SEPTEMBER 02: Natalie Portman and Angelina Jolie attend the Telluride Film Festival 2017 on September 2, 2017 in Telluride, Colorado. (Photo by Paul Best/Getty Images)
TELLURIDE, CO - SEPTEMBER 04: Natalie Portman attends the Telluride Film Festival 2017 on September 2, 2017 in Telluride, Colorado. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 20: Natalie Portman attends the 'Planetarium' Japan Premiere at Shinjuku Wald9 on July 20, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 19: Natalie Portman attends the Dior For Love photocall at Warehouse Terrada on July 19, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 03: Actress Natalie Portman attends the Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2017-2018 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 3, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/WireImage)