Sean Penn, Natalie Portman

Jason Merritt/Getty Images; John Shearer/Getty Images

Natalie Portman isn't one to Milk a rumor for publicity.

The 27-year-old actress is firmly denying rumors that she and reigning Best Actor Sean Penn are an item.

"Sean Penn is a friend and colleague," the star of the upcoming New York, I Love You said in a statement to Extra Friday. "The reports that we are romantically involved are completely untrue. I normally do not respond to rumors about my private life, however, this repeatedly fabricated story has forced me to do so."

And the rumors have been out there—a tabloid report that the May-December duo were canoodling in a West Hollywood bar barely two weeks after Penn, 48, filed for a legal separation from his wife of 13 years, Robin Wright Penn, metamorphosed into full-fledged "they're together" stories.

We know that Penn and Portman served on the 2008 Cannes Film Festival jury together, but otherwise...only anonymous sources are claiming to know anything else. 

Portman split up with folk-rock singer Devendra Banhart last fall.

(Originally published May 15, 2009, at 3:14 p.m. PT)

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