Monday, January 27, 2014

The Daily Beast article on Woody Allen; Mia, Dylan and Ronan Farrow

There's an interesting article about the Woody Allen-Mia Farrow-Dylan/Malone-Satchel/Ronan business by Robert B. Weide:

There are things I knew, some things I didn't about the events of twenty years ago.

Also some more recent events I found surprising:
Moses Farrow, now 36, and an accomplished photographer, has been estranged from Mia for several years. During a recent conversation, he spoke of “finally seeing the reality” of Frog Hollow and used the term “brainwashing” without hesitation. He recently reestablished contact with Allen and is currently enjoying a renewed relationship with him and Soon-Yi.
Weide lists misconceptions he keeps seeing in people's comments on-line:
Every time I stumble upon this topic on the internet, it seems the people who are most outraged are also the most ignorant of the facts. Following are the top ten misconceptions, followed by my response in italics:

#1: Soon-Yi was Woody’s daughter. False.

#2:  Soon-Yi was Woody’s step-daughter. False.

#3:  Soon-Yi was Woody and Mia’s adopted daughter. False. Soon-Yi was the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and AndrĂ© Previn. Her full name was Soon-Yi Farrow Previn.

#4:  Woody and Mia were married. False.

#5:  Woody and Mia lived together. False. Woody lived in his apartment on Fifth Ave. Mia and her kids lived on Central Park West. In fact, Woody never once stayed over night at Mia’s apartment in 12 years.

#6:  Woody and Mia had a common-law marriage. False. New York State does not recognize common law marriage. Even in states that do, a couple has to cohabitate for a certain number of years.

#7:  Soon-Yi viewed Woody as a father figure. False. Soon-Yi saw Woody as her mother’s boyfriend. Her father figure was her adoptive father, AndrĂ© Previn.

#8: Soon-Yi was underage when she and Woody started having relations. False. She was either 19 or 21. (Her year of birth in Korea was undocumented, but believed to be either 1970 or ’72.)

#9:  Soon-Yi was borderline retarded. Ha! She’s smart as a whip, has a degree from Columbia University and speaks more languages than you.

#10:  Woody was grooming Soon-Yi from an early age to be his child bride. Oh, come on! According to court documents and Mia’s own memoir, until 1990 (when Soon-Yi was 18 or 20), Woody “had little to do with any of the Previn children, (but) had the least to do with Soon-Yi” so Mia encouraged him to spend more time with her. Woody started taking her to basketball games, and the rest is tabloid history. So he hardly “had his eye on her” from the time she was a child.
Let me add this: If anyone is creeped out by the notion of a 55-year old man becoming involved with his girlfriend’s 19-year old adopted daughter, I understand. That makes perfect sense. But why not get the facts straight? If the actual facts are so repugnant to you, then why embellish them? 
I suppose I should stop calling their relationship a "quasi-common-law marriage".

I'll again repeat John Baxter's point, that a lot of the problem was from Eric Lax's biographies of Allen which idealized his relationship with Farrow, presented as something even better than a marriage. It was why the break-up came as such a shock and why assumptions were made about Allen's relationship with Mia's children.

The article goes into detail discussing the molestation allegations against Allen and the reason investigators rejected them. Among them was the fact that Mia videotaped Dylan making the accusation, turning the camera off and on, apparently editing in camera. A nanny said that it was recorded over a period of days during which Dylan was coached.

He brings up the fact that Mia gave permission to the Golden Globes to use a film clip of her in The Purple Rose of Cairo, something she didn't have to do. She freely allowed her image to be used in the tribute to Woody Allen, a tribute she later tweeted was an insult to all abuse victims. 

He mentions Mia's friendship with Roman Polanski, the fact that she testified for him in a libel suit against Vanity Fair, the magazine which ran the recent article on Farrow which included the statements by Dylan and Farrow's claim that Frank Sinatra could be Ronan's father. Polanski won the lawsuit. 

But don't listen to me. Read the article.

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