Soon-Yi Previn, Woody Allen’s wife, has broken her silence about her relationship with the controversial filmmaker and her early life with Allen’s former partner Mia Farrow.
Previn claims in a new interview with Vulture that Dylan Farrow’s allegations of molestation against Woody Allen are false, and that Mia Farrow abused Previn.
“Mia wasn’t maternal to me from the get-go,” Previn told Daphne Merkin, the author of the op-ed and a friend of Allen’s for four decades.
“I was never interested in writing a ‘Mommie Dearest,’ getting even with Mia — none of that,” Previn, who was adopted by Farrow and then-husband Andre Previn when she was six years old, said. “But what’s happened to Woody is so upsetting, so unjust. [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.”
She described the household of Farrow and Previn as volatile.
“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 asserted that a while she does have a “little learning disability,” which makes spelling difficult, Farrow would write words on her arms to get her to remember them, and hold her upside down for periods of time 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.” She said Farrow also slapped her and spanked her with a hairbrush.
A family spokesperson refuted all Previn’s claims of physical abuse, neglect, or showing favoritism to one child over another to Vulture.
Previn goes on to describe the beginning of her relationship with Allen, noting that the two were consenting adults at the time — she was 21. She says that in the beginning, neither thought the relationship would last, but over time, they grew closer.
“I’d meet someone in college, and that would be done,” Soon-Yi says of the relationship. “It only became a relationship really when we were thrown together because of the molestation charge.”
After Farrow found out about the affair by finding nude photos of Previn, Previn’s relationship with Farrow deteriorated even further.
“I remember the phone call when she found the photos,” Previn said. “I picked up the phone and Mia said, ‘Soon-Yi.’ That’s all she needed to say, in that chilling tone of voice. I knew my life was over and that she knew, just by the way she said my name. When she came home, she asked me about it, and I — survival instinct — denied it. And then she said, ‘I have photos.’ So I knew I was trapped. Of course, she slapped me, you know the way of things. And then she called everyone. She didn’t contain the situation; she just spread it like wildfire, and then she was screaming at Woody when he came over. Meanwhile, Dylan and Satchel [Ronan] are living under her roof and they are very small, 6 and 4 years old. They hear their mother going crazy, screaming in the middle of the night for hours.”
Previn expressed remorse for the effect the affair had on Farrow, calling it “a huge betrayal on both our parts, a terrible thing to do, a terrible shock to inflict on her.”
In August 1992, Dylan Farrow alleged that Allen had abused her, which Allen has denied and claimed Mia manipulated Dylan into doing. The allegations led to a much-publicized, drawn-out custody battle.
Allen’s sister, Letty Aronson, told Vulture that Mia told her around that time: “‘He took my daughter, I’m going to take his.’ I said, ‘Don’t be ridiculous. [Dylan] loves Woody. A child should have a father.’ She said, ‘I don’t care.'”
Dylan tweeted a response to the Vulture (New York Magazine) op-ed shortly after it was published.