Woody Allen denies abusing adopted child

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The Independent Online
A DAY after announcing his love for Mia Farrow's 21-year-old adopted daughter Soon-Yi, New York's reclusive film-maker Woody Allen broke cover again yesterday to complain that he has been falsely accused of molesting one of his three children.

Echoing a thunderclap over a city already reeling from reports of his love affair and his custody battle for the three children with their mother Farrow, Allen's angry denial that he had abused one of two they have adopted created a new sensation.

'This is an unconscionable and gruesomely damaging manipulation of innocent children for vindictive and self-serving motives,' said a pale and shaken Allen, who coughed and changed his glasses before reading from a two-page statement.

In another allegation in the dispute between two of New York's most famous people, who have been partners for 12 years, he said that Farrow's lawyers had asked for dollars 7m ( pounds 3.6m) in exchange for not bringing allegations against him to Connecticut state police. He refused the offer.

But after making his statement the man who epitomises for many the angst and nervous energy of New York City could not resist a crack at himself, saying: 'My one public appearance in years and it's all straight lines.'

His anger at his former lover was there for all to see. 'These totally false and outrageous allegations have sickened me so I felt that, for the sake of all my three children, I must try and remove them from an atmosphere so unhealthy it can surely leave irreparable scars,' he said.

On Monday everything seemed to be going well for the 56-year- old Allen who issued a press statement saying: 'Regarding my love for Soon-Yi: it's real and happily all true. She's a lovely, intelligent sensitive woman who has and continues to turn around my life in a wonderfully positive way.'

Later that night Allen braved a thunderstorm to play clarinet at his regular gig before an audience of tourists and fans at Michael's Pub in mid-Manhattan, even stopping to give autographs later.

But allegations of a police investigation of child abuse against one of the couple's adopted children proved too much for Mr Allen to take. His riposte that Farrow's lawyer had asked for money in return for calling off the police investigation hit home in a city where suit is met with countersuit.

John Springer, Farrow's spokesman, said yesterday: 'She isn't exactly turning cartwheels down the country roads. She's as upset and unhappy as anybody in her position would be.'

Soon-Yi and Allen began their affair seven months ago but, as photographs in several newspapers demonstrated yesterday, they were seen holding hands at a basketball game as long ago as January 1990. Reports of nude pictures of Soon-Yi and the investigation of Allen for child abuse appear to be part of a strategy to try the custody case in public.