Police probe Natalie Portman, Sacha Baron Cohen's lockdown boat ride

Police investigate Natalie Portman and Sacha Baron Cohen’s leisurely Sydney lockdown boat trip after Daily Mail Australia asked if the A-list jaunt was REALLY so ‘essential’

Police are investigating Natalie Portman, her husband Benjamin Millepied and A-list friend Sacha Baron Cohen’s lockdown boat ride after community outrage. 

Daily Mail Australia this week published pictures of the celebrity set cruising about Sydney’s north on a rented boat with each of their children.

Locals fumed about the high profile group’s Monday morning activity given greater Sydney residents have been ordered to stay home except for ‘essential’ reasons, due to an alarming outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant. 

A NSW Police Force spokeswoman on Friday confirmed officers are now probing the boat excursion. 

‘NSW Police have been made aware of community concerns regarding a boat ride and are conducting inquiries into the matter,’ the spokeswoman said. 

Is that really an essential outing? Natalie Portman (centre) and her husband, Benjamin Millepied (left), headed out for a leisurely boat ride north of Sydney with Sacha Baron Cohen (right) during Sydney’s Covid lockdown on Monday 

Pictures show the two clans appeared in good spirits they lapped up the winter sunshine in Pittwater, in the city’s northern beaches region. 

Mr Millepied got behind the steering wheel while leading lights of acclaimed films Black Swan and Borat watched on.

But the group jaunt wasn’t seen as favourably by locals, who took to social media to vent. 

‘So nice that Hollywood celebs get to enjoy Sydney Harbour during lockdown,’ tweeted Australian BBC correspondent Frances Mao.

Ms Mao noted police had deployed 100 extra officers to the multicultural south-west Sydney region to ensure compliance with the public health orders. 

‘What lockdown?’ added journalist Ben Grubb. ‘Recreational activities are allowed as part of the sixteen rules but two separate families on a boat?’ 

On dry land: The outing proved to be a hands-on experience for everyone, as Natalie, Benjamin and Sacha were later seen anchoring the boat onto a nearby beach using a rope 

Catching up: The trio enjoyed a merry conversation as they strolled down the sand

The public health orders that were in place on Monday said Sydney residents could only leave their homes if they had a ‘reasonable excuse’.

That included ‘exercise and outdoor recreation’. The definition of outdoor recreation – and whether that included a day on the water – wasn’t specified. 

The NSW Government had also advised locals to practise social distancing by keeping 1.5m from ‘people you don’t live with’. 

In the days since the photos were taken Prime Minister Scott Morrison, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Chief Medical Officer Dr Kerry Chant have urged Sydney residents not to mix with people from other households.  

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned New South Wales is facing its greatest Covid threat since the pandemic reached Australian shores in early 2020

The Covid situation has only worsened throughout the week the city’s lockdown extended into a third week.

Ms Berejiklian announced even tougher Covid restrictions on Friday after the state reported 44 new Covid infections, with 29 of them infectious in the community.

‘We are facing the greatest threat that we have faced in New South Wales and the pandemic started,’ Ms Berejiklian said on Friday.

‘And it is up to all of us to turn things around.’

Portman, Millepied and Baron Cohen’s representatives were previously approached for comment. 

Everything you need to know about the new greater Sydney Covid restrictions 

From 5pm on Friday, July 9:

– Residents can travel only 10km from their homes

– Exercise and gather in groups of two while outside

– Only one member of each household per day is allowed to leave the home for essential shopping

– No browsing in supermarkets and retail businesses. Shop only for essential items

– Funerals capped at 10

– No car pooling with other households when going out for exercise

The new rules are in addition to the stay-at-home orders already in place until July 16, which only allow for leaving the home to:

shop for essential items (one person only)

give care and compassionate reasons (one visitor only)

exercise or for work or education that cannot be conducted remotely

Source: Read Full Article