Sunday, February 9, 2014

10 Fascinating Facts About the Mia Farrow - Woody Allen Family Train Wreck

Did he or didn't he?  In this photo from the 1980s, here's (from left to right), Woody Allen, Fletcher Farrow, some guy doing an early version of a photo-bomb, Mia Farrow, babe-in-arms Dylan Farrow (who alleges that Woody molested her), Moses Farrow, and Soon-Yi Previn.  Now that's a happy family.  

You don't need me to tell you the story, but I'm going to anyway, just in case you missed it. 

Back in 1980, the film director Woody Allen and the famous actress Mia Farrow began dating.  Among other things, their relationship yielded a fertile creative collaboration.  Mia starred in 12 of the 13 movies that Woody made over the next dozen years, including a few of his best films.

The two never married, and kept separate homes. 

In 1992, while visiting Allen's Manhattan apartment, Mia found nude photos of her own adopted teenage daughter, Soon-Yi Previn.  Allen admitted to taking the photos, and to being in a sexual relationship with Previn, a relationship that continues to this day.  

To be clear, Soon-Yi was not Allen's daughter.  She was his girlfriend's daughter.  However, Allen's children Ronan and Dylan considered Soon-Yi their sister.  

In any case, soon after this, seven-year-old Dylan began accusing Allen of molesting her in the attic of Mia Farrow's Connecticut farmhouse.  Ouch.  Police investigated the case, but no charges were ever brought against Allen. 

In recent weeks, Dylan, now a grown woman, has renewed those accusations in the pages of the New York Times.  And Allen has denied them, also in the pages of the New York Times.

Does this look like a child molester?

Did Woody do it?  I don't know.  Only he, and maybe Dylan, really knows for sure.  Should we be delving into their private lives?  That's up to you.

I think the thing to remember is that despite all the apparent pain, Woody and Mia are here for our entertainment.  They always have been.  Although I'm sure they wouldn't choose this sort of scrutiny, they're the ones who chose to be in the public eye.    

With all that in mind, here are (in no particular order):

10 Fascinating Facts About the Mia Farrow - Woody Allen Family Train Wreck

1. Mia's Famous Family

Mia Farrow is the daughter of Maureen O’Sullivan, an Irish actress best known for playing the part of Jane in the old Tarzan movies of the 1930s and 1940s, and John Farrow, an Academy-Award winning screenwriter and director.  Mia’s younger sister Prudence is the subject of the Beatles song “Dear Prudence,” written by John Lennon.

2. Mia has lots of kids

Mia has had 15 children at one time or another, putting fellow serial-adopter Angelina Jolie to shame.  Four of these children are ones that she gave birth to.  11 are children she has adopted.  Two of the children are now dead, 13 are still alive.

3. Mia the Homewrecker

When she was a young woman, Mia befriended the great classical musician Andre Previn and his wife Dory Previn.  Soon, she was in Andre’s bed when Dory wasn’t around.  Soon after that, Andre left his wife and married Mia.  Dory, who herself was a popular musician and songwriter of the late 1960s and early 1970s, wrote a song about Mia called ”Beware of Young Girls.” 

4. Soon-Yi Previn

Andre Previn and Mia Farrow adopted Soon-Yi Previn from an orphanage in Korea.  Soon-Yi’s first appearance on Earth is shrouded in mystery.  No one knows her exact age or birthday.  When Soon-Yi took up with Woody Allen as a teenager, she apparently angered Andre Previn enough that she became dead to him.  “She doesn’t exist,” says the composer about his daughter. 

5. Mia the Adulterer

Mia Farrow has indicated that she carried on an affair with her first husband, Frank Sinatra, during both her marriage to Andre Previn and her relationship with Woody Allen.  She has even hinted, most recently in Vanity Fair magazine, that her son with Woody Allen, Ronan Farrow, might actually be Frank Sinatra’s son.  

Here's Ronan Farrow, his dad Woody Allen (who Ronan often refers to as his "brother-in-law,") and Frank Sinatra when ol' blue eyes was a young man. 

6. Woody the Reluctant Dad  

At first, Woody Allen took no apparent interest in being a father figure to Mia Farrow’s swarming brood of children.  By all accounts, he tended to ignore the kids.  Only after the couple adopted Dylan Farrow in 1985 did he show any interest in fatherhood.  According to court documents, at that point, his interest in Dylan became “entirely unacceptable and inappropriate.”  He placed constant demands on her time, and wanted her to be with him night and day.

7. There's a good chance Woody didn't do it

The Yale–New Haven Hospital Child Sexual Abuse Clinic, at the request of the Connecticut State Police, investigated the allegations of child abuse by Woody Allen in 1992. They found there were no grounds to believe that Allen had molested Dylan.  They felt instead that Mia Farrow’s coaching, combined with living in a deeply disturbed and dysfunctional home, had led the child to believe she had been molested by Allen.

8. Two Consenting Adults

Woody Allen claims to have begun a sexual relationship with Soon-Yi Previn when she was a freshman in college.  The scandal erupted because Mia Farrow, while visiting Woody’s Manhattan apartment, found nude photos of Soon-Yi, that Woody had taken.  When questioned about this during the court case, Allen said the photos had been Soon-Yi’s idea, and that he saw nothing wrong with taking them since they were both consenting adults.  Soon-Yi was somewhere between 18 and 20 at the time.  Allen was 56.

9. The Neurotic Molester

Part of Woody’s defense is that he’s too neurotic to have molested Dylan.  He's alleged to have molested her in the attic of Mia Farrow’s Connecticut farmhouse.  His take on that?  It couldn’t have happened.  Among several neurotic tendencies, he’s claustrophobic, and says he was unable to go in the attic for more than a few moments at a time.

10. Woody Likes Them Young

During a People Magazine interview in 1976, Woody seemed to admit a sexual interest in young girls.  He said the following:  "I'm open-minded about sex. I'm not above reproach; if anything, I'm below reproach. I mean, if I was caught in a love nest with fifteen 12-year-old girls tomorrow, people would think, yeah, I always knew that about him.  Nothing I could come up with would surprise anyone ... I admit to it all."

Later in the interview he dropped this pearl of wisdom: "It's no accomplishment to have or raise kids. Any fool can do it."

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