Portman denies Penn romance

LONDON: Natalie Portman has denied being in a relationship with Sean Penn.

In a statement to 'Extra', the Leon actress said he had been forced into responding to the rumours the pair were romantically involved.

"Sean Penn is a friend and colleague," she said.

"The reports that we are romantically involved are completely untrue.

"I do not normally respond to rumours about my private life. However, this repeatedly fabricated story has forced me to do so."

Both Penn and Portman were on the judging panel for the prestigious Cannes festival last year.

In April this year Penn separated from his wife of 13 years, Robin Wright Penn.