Soon-Yi, Woody Allen’s Wife, Speaks About Husband & Mia Farrow
The #MeToo movement has brought the decades-old Woody Allen scandal to the public’s attention again, including all the details of his relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, daughter Dylan Farrow, and his former wife Mia Farrow. Recently, Soon-Yi Previn, Allen’s wife since 1997, spoke out in a rare interview that details her side of the story.
Woody Allen’s historic career
Well before the scandal broke, Woody Allen was an incredibly influential comedian, filmmaker, director, and producer. Born in 1935, Allen developed an early interest in entertainment and started writing jokes and sketch comedy in his teens. He worked as a writer for the famed Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show, and several major sitcoms. In addition, while he was in his early twenties, Allen often performed as a stand-up comedian, refining his craft.
He started making movies in the mid-’60s, but it was his series of 70’s comedies that really made his reputation. Movies like Annie Hall, Play it Again, Sam, Manhattan, and Love and Death are widely considered to be among Allen’s best, and the films that established his movie persona as a nebbish, neurotic intellectual. In the decades since he first became famous, Allen has written and directed such popular, critically acclaimed films as Vicky Cristy Barcelona, with Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, and Blue Jasmine, with Alec Baldwin and Cate Blanchett.
The Woody Allen scandal
Woody Allen’s personal life has been beset with troubles. His twelve-year relationship with actress Mia Farrow (formerly married to Frank Sinatra) was unusual by any standard but spawned a tabloid tale that has endured for decades. Farrow and Allen started dating in 1980, and although they were never married, Farrow was Allen’s “muse” and starred in over a dozen of his movies while they were together.
While Farrow and Allen had two children, Dylan, whom the couple adopted, and Ronan, their biological son. Farrow also had many adopted children, including Soon-Yi Previn, who had been rescued from the Seoul slums when she was around five years old. Allen and Previn notoriously began a relationship when Allen was in his fifties and Soon-Yi was twenty-one. They continued their relationship without Farrow’s knowledge until she discovered nude photos of Previn in Allen’s possession. The revelation effectively ended Allen and Farrow’s relationship, while simultaneously driving a wedge between Allen and his children with Farrow.
Allen and Soon-Yi married in 1997, after going public with their affair. But the drama was ongoing with Woody Allen – in the early nineties, allegations of sexual assault were filed by Mia Farrow, claiming that Allen had been inappropriate with their daughter, Dylan. While a lengthy investigation concluded that Dylan Farrow had not been sexually assaulted, the claims have never gone away. In light of the movement to uncover sexual assault against women, a movement spearheaded by the reporting of Ronan Farrow, Dylan Farrow spoke out in 2018, claiming again that Allen repeatedly abused her when she was a child.
What did Soon-Yi say about Allen?
In September 2018, an interview with Soon-Yi Previn was published, defending Allen against the allegations and offering her version of the events that led to her and Allen’s long-term relationship. Previn claims that Mia Farrow was never very maternal to her and that her and Allen’s relationship began “as consenting adults.” She blasts Farrow for being unkind to most of her children and states that the treatment of Allen in the press and media has been unfair.
Farrow, as well as her children Dylan and Ronan, have been vocal in denouncing the interview, citing inconsistencies in the facts reported, as well as the fact that the interviewer is a long-time friend of Allen’s. It’s a story that has dominated tabloids for decades, and is likely to continue well into 2019 – and for Woody Allen, the drama won’t be anything new.