Who Is Soon-Yi Previn, Mia Farrow’s Adopted Daughter and Woody Allen’s Wife?

When it comes to bizarre family dynamics that have rocked Hollywood, the situation between Mia Farrow, her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, and Woody Allen has caused controversy for years. Soon-Yi was adopted in 1978 when Farrow and André Previn were still married. And in the late 80s, while Farrow was in a long-term relationship with Woody Allen, it was discovered that Allen was also pursuing Soon-Yi Previn, who was just around 20 years old at the time.

Today, Previn and Allen are still together despite decades of controversy. Here are more details about Soon-Yi Previn and her intense relationship.

Soon-Yi Previn was a poor runaway in South Korea

Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn

Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Vulture explains at just 5 years old, Soon-Yi was roaming the streets of Seoul, South Korea, as a runaway. Other details of her early life are scarce, and even her exact birthday and age aren’t known. But in an interview, Previn recalls “being extremely poor. … You know, no furniture, nothing. Just a bare room and a mother, and we had a backyard, kind of with concrete. No trees, no foliage. I spent most of my time in the backyard, I don’t know why. And then I decided one day to run away.”

She then was caught on the streets and put into an orphanage. Farrow and André Previn, her husband at the time, then adopted Soon-Yi in 1977 when she was around 6 years old. At this point, the couple already had adopted two Vietnamese children and had three other kids, too.

She never had a close relationship with her mother

From the very beginning, Previn told Vulture that her relationship with Farrow seemed strained. A spokesperson for the Farrow family said all of Previn’s accounts of abuse and neglect weren’t true, but Previn stands by what she said. She claims her parents both had serious tempers and played favorites amongst the children. “There was a hierarchy — she didn’t try to hide it, and Fletcher was the star, the golden child,” she told Vulture.

Additionally, Previn arrived to Farrow’s home without knowing any English, and she was often perceived as being slow to learn. In a 1992 interview, she accused her mother of “showing her power” by physically abusing her and calling her names, says Vox. Many of the other kids (and a judge at the time) ruled that Farrow had been a loving and caring mother, however, so it seems the family was divided on their opinions.

Today, many note that Previn seems very self-aware, though she did admit with Vulture that she has a learning disability. She said her mother made her feel ashamed of it, which is why she never spoke of it in the past.

Her relationship with Allen “broke every taboo”

Woody Allen (L) and his new bride Soon-Yi Previn

Woody Allen (L) and his new bride Soon-Yi Previn and Allen’s niece (no name available) walk on December 26, 1997 | Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

It was in 1992 when Farrow found a stack of Polaroids Allen took that depicted Previn totally in the nude. Allen claimed the photos were taken because Previn was interested in modeling, but that was certainly the beginning of the end for Farrow and Allen’s relationship, Vanity Fair notes.

As for when Allen and Previn met, Previn was just 10 years old when Allen and Farrow began dating, Vulture notes. Previn notes that most of her brothers and sisters didn’t even think of Allen as a father, as he didn’t live in the same house as them and also barely had any of his belongings around. Allen and Previn first began to get close when she broke her ankle in the 11th grade, and Allen helped her. At this point, her relationship with her mother was so bad that it became easy for Previn to depend on Allen over time.

When it’s come to defending her relationship, Previn has asserted that she’s not a “little underage flower who was raped, molested, and spoiled by some evil stepfather,” Vanity Fair notes. Instead, she told Newsweek that she was a college student who “fell for a man who happens to be the ex-boyfriend of Mia.” By 1997, Allen and Previn married — and they’ve been going strong ever since.

Previn thinks Dylan Farrow may have fabricated her sexual assault allegations against Allen

Dylan and Mia Farrow

Dylan and Mia Farrow | Ben Gabbe/Getty Images

It was the early ’90s when abuse allegations first stopped cropping up against Allen. A series of bizarre and disturbing incidents had allegedly occurred between him and his 7-year-old adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, The Huffington Post notes. And in 2014, Dylan Farrow came out once again to accuse Allen of molesting her when she was a child. She wrote, “Woody Allen molested me when I was seven years old, part of a documented pattern of inappropriate, abusive touching that led a judge to say there was no evidence I was coached and that it was unsafe for me to be in Woody Allen’s presence.”

Previn, however, has different ideas of what happened. In the past, she’s rebuked Dylan Farrow’s statements and claimed no abuse took place at all. Instead, she’s suggested that her mother may have planted the idea into Dylan Farrow’s head at a young age as to get back at Allen.

It seems the dynamics between Previn and Allen and the rest of the family are still quite broken, as Previn no longer talks to Farrow at all and mostly leads a quiet life. Today, her and Allen live together and have two adopted daughters.

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