In an interview with New York Magazine, which came out on Sunday, Soon-Yi Previn, the 47 year-old wife of Woody Allen, broke her decades of silence on the allegations that the famed Hollywood director had molested his former partner Mia Farrow's adopted daughter Dylan, saying that Farrow has been using MeToo’s current hype to slander Allen.
“[Mia] has taken advantage of the #MeToo movement and paraded Dylan as a victim. And a whole new generation is hearing about it when they shouldn’t.”
Previn-Allen Love Affair
Previn was adopted as a little girl by Mia Farrow and Farrow’s former husband from South Korea. After the divorce, Farrow started an affair with Allen, when Soon-Yi was 11, but ten years later, while Farrow was still dating Allen, the latter entered a relationship with then grown-up Soon-Yi, which resulted in a marriage in 1997.
Previn’s Childhood Memories
In the interview conducted by the director’s longtime friend Daphne Merkin, Previn portrays Farrow as a neglectful mother who treated her children unequally, often resorting to verbal and physical abuse. Previn said Farrow possibly sought revenge after she learnt Previn was having an affair with Allen when she found Polaroids of Previn naked in Allen’s home.
More specifically, she claimed that Farrow would hold her upside down “to get the blood to drain to my head.” “Because she thought — or she read it, God knows where she came up with the notion — that blood going to my head would make me smarter or something,” Previn noted.
She also shared memories of Farrow virtually throwing her into a bath to wash while in a Korean hotel shortly after going through the adoption procedures. She separately dwelled upon her adoptive mother getting furious about her making mistakes in English, a language new to Soon-Yi at the time. “She tried to teach me the alphabet with those wooden blocks. If I didn't get them right, sometimes she'd throw them at me or down on the floor. Who can learn under that pressure?” Previn asked.
Soon-Yi said she was disgusted at Allen when she first saw him, doubting at the time how a good person could be dating a “mean” woman like her adoptive mother. But things reportedly changed when she entered college, with Allen subsequently telling a press conference he had genuine feelings for Soon-Yi, just around the time the scandal around his alleged molestation of Dylan ramped up.
Allen is also quoted in the new NY Magazine article, lamenting: “I am a pariah.”
“People think that I was Soon-Yi's father, that I raped and married my underaged, retarded daughter,” Daphne Merkin cited Allen, who once joined her and Soon-Yi’s talk, as saying.
Twitter Divided Over Story
Dylan Farrow and her brother Ronan, who is now a well-known journalist, denounced the article as full of “multiple obvious falsehoods,” picking up on the fact that the couple spoke to their devoted friend, who couldn’t speak but in their favor.
“The idea of letting a friend of an alleged predator write a one-sided piece attacking the credibility of his victim is disgusting,” said Dylan Farrow in a statement on Twitter, with many other users making the same point. One user even called the article “a puff piece with the express purpose of restoring Allen’s career”:
So Soon Yi Previn worked with Daphne Merkin, a decades-long friend of Woody Allen, to discredit Mia Farrow?— Scott Steinhardt (@ScottFromNY) 17 сентября 2018 г.
Couple of questions:
— How is this not a puff piece with the express purpose of restoring Allen’s career?
— How did a reputable magazine publish this?
— WTF is happening?
Oh, Soon-Yi Previn profile writer—and Woody Allen fangirl–Daphne Merkin is the woman who wrote this op-ed?— Lily Herman (@lkherman) 17 сентября 2018 г.
Mkay, yeah, explains a lot. pic.twitter.com/4i2dGTPgnE
x marks the spot where i stopped reading the soon-yi previn/woody allen profile pic.twitter.com/saiV7EmJGF— ʟᴇᴀʜ (@ladygoggog) 17 сентября 2018 г.
6. So how did Daphne get the opportunity to profile Soon-Yi Previn who is married to Woody Allen. Probably because Soon-Yi wouldn't talk to anyone else.— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) 17 сентября 2018 г.
This was written by Woody Allen’s friend, this is the opposite of impartial journalism. https://t.co/bbOCHczjMK— J.San (@Fleegull) 17 сентября 2018 г.
Dylan also denied in her statement that her mother pushed her to speak out back in the 1990s. “My mother never coached me, but she did stand by me, even when Woody Allen unleashed hell on her via lawyers and publicists and allies like the author of this piece. Thanks to my mother, I grew up in a wonderful home filled with love, that she created … no one is ‘parading me around as a victim’ – I continue to be an adult woman making a credible allegation unchanged for two decades, backed up by evidence,” Dylan stated.
There were, however, those who lauded the “justice” being served in the case:
FINALLY!!!! 👍👍👍❤️❤️❤️ WE LOVE WOODY ALLEN! THE MAN! HIS WIFE! HIS CHILDREN! HIS FILMS! HIS MUSIC! HIS SPIRIT! AND ALL THE ACTORS WHO DEFENDED HIM! WE LOVE TRUTH AND JUSTICE!https://t.co/1sXhLWEWWP— Nina Gleize (@NinaGleize) 17 сентября 2018 г.
I maintain that most clear thinking people can see Dylan Farrow’s accusations make no sense, but it is used like Al Capone’s taxes against Woody Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi. This wont change the minds of idiots, but her story is compelling https://t.co/so3MIBrQPb— Woody Allen Pages (@WoodyAllenPages) 17 сентября 2018 г.
Others saw nothing in the piece that “exculpates” Allen allegedly molesting Dylan Farrow, with some noting Soon-Yi had “nothing of value to say:”
Nothing about this profile of Soon-Yi Previn written by a family friend of 40 years exculpates Woody Allen wrt sexually abusing Dylan Farrow. It does, however, paint a tragic picture of a woman who was adopted, unloved, and had to grow up too soon. https://t.co/4ASQx1vxyy— Karthik §hankar (@kookykarthik) 17 сентября 2018 г.
Does anyone expect Soon-Yi to have anything of value to say? She was manipulated by #WoodyAllen as a teen into having an illicit inappropriate affair. Sadly, she slept with & married her stepfather. https://t.co/5J7YLbwVIn— Charisse (@DakiniBliss) 16 сентября 2018 г.
One user even openly stated Allen “belongs in jail,” taking into account the desciprtion of events in the interview.
Soon-Yi Previn's, Woody Allen's step daughter and wife, description of events just confirms that Woody Allen was and is a piece of shit. I wish that the outrage culture had space for Woody Allen, he belongs in jail.— Tyler (@williamtylerast) 17 сентября 2018 г.
The MeToo campaigners’ double standards have also been speculated upon on Twitter:
The #MeToo movement can't chant "believe women" in one breath then dismiss Woody Allen's wife Soon-Yi Previn story in the next.— Yeezus Feist (@sideshowRaheem) 17 сентября 2018 г.
Claims Renewed, but Refuted
A fresh debate over Woody Allen and allegations that he sexually abused his stepdaughter Dylan Farrow kicked off during the MeToo movement’s heyday in 2017, after Dylan reiterated her claims and supported the allegedly abused women coming forward.
When recently asked on an Argentinian news program whether there is any truth behind the claims, Allen vociferously denied them, yet again: “Of course not, this is just so crazy,” he said.
“This is something that has been thoroughly looked at 25 years ago by all the authorities and everybody came to the conclusion that it was untrue. And that was the end and I’ve gone on with my life. For it to come back now, it’s a terrible thing to accuse a person of. I’m a man with a family and my own children,” Allen said in June, adding he is frustrated to see his name being used alongside men accused of sexual abuse.
Allen, who has repeatedly rejected the allegations, was investigated over the rape claims after they first came to light in 1992, but was never charged.