Natalie Portman, 42, and Paul Mescal, 28, are ‘just friends’ despite romantic rumors swirling after the pair were spotted outside a bar in London and emerged from Natalie’s $6M mansion

It’s been suggested that Natalie Portman and Paul Mescal are simply friends, despite recent sightings together sparking romance rumors. The duo were seen enjoying themselves at Bar 69 in Islington, London, on Tuesday, sharing laughter and stepping outside for a cigarette.

Natalie finalized her divorce from Benjamin Millepied in France in March, bringing an end to a marriage of 12 years, her representative confirmed to People (pictured in 2022)

Paul, 28, and Natalie, 42, who previously interviewed each other for Variety, seemed to be in good spirits during their outing. Meanwhile, Natalie, who recently finalized her divorce from Benjamin Millepied in March amidst rumors of infidelity, likely appreciated the chance to have a fun night out.

However, sources close to the pair have clarified that Natalie and Paul’s relationship is strictly platonic, and they have maintained a friendly rapport for some time, according to TMZ.

Paul’s admiration for Natalie has been well-documented, and he appeared thrilled to be in her company during their outing in Islington on Tuesday. MailOnline reached out to representatives for both Paul and Natalie for comment.

Natalie Portman and Paul Mescal are just friends, it is claimed - despite romance rumors set off by their giggly sighting together Tuesday outside a London bar (pictured)

During their previous interview exchange, Paul lauded Natalie as ‘brilliant’ and expressed his disbelief at the opportunity to converse with her, stating, ‘If my drama school self knew that I would be talking to you, I would pinch myself many, many times!’

He also praised Natalie’s performance in May December, particularly highlighting her steamy scene with co-star Charles Melton. In the film, Natalie portrayed Elizabeth, an actress researching a couple, Gracie (Julianne Moore) and Joe (Charles), whose relationship sparked a scandal due to their significant age gap.

Natalie's relationship with Paul is strictly platonic

On the other hand, Natalie commended Paul for his work in All of Us Strangers, specifically noting his intimate scenes with Andrew Scott as ‘very hot but also very tender.’

Natalie’s representative confirmed to People that she officially concluded her divorce from Benjamin in France in March, marking the conclusion of their 12-year marriage. The former couple has two children together, Aleph, aged 12, and Amalia, aged seven, and resided in Benjamin’s home country of France for a number of years.

Natalie initiated divorce proceedings last July, shortly after French magazine Voici published a report alleging Benjamin’s involvement in an affair with a 25-year-old environmental activist named Camille Étienne.

Following the public scrutiny over the infidelity claims, a source informed People that Benjamin had engaged in a ‘short-lived’ relationship with Camille, acknowledging his mistake and expressing a commitment to repairing his relationship with Natalie and maintaining their family unit.

The pair's chemistry was clear when they interviewed each other last year and discussed their careers and admiration of each other for Variety magazine

Despite Benjamin’s efforts, Natalie proceeded with the divorce filing the following month, and by early March of the following year, the legal formalities were completed.

While Natalie has refrained from addressing the divorce publicly, she hinted at her feelings in a Vanity Fair interview in February, describing the scrutiny surrounding her marriage as ‘terrible’ and expressing a desire not to contribute to it.

Throughout the ordeal, Natalie received support from her friends, who helped her navigate the challenges. Her primary focus remained on ensuring a smooth transition for her children, with both her and Benjamin prioritizing co-parenting.

In March, coinciding with the finalization of her divorce, Natalie shared on Instagram that her book club was reading Nora Ephron’s novel Heartburn, a story that parallels her own experiences of divorce from a prominent figure, reflecting perhaps her personal journey and growth through the process.

A friend revealed the collapse of Natalie's marriage was 'was initially really tough for her, but her friends rallied around her and helped get her through the worst of it'; pictured February