Woody weds Mia's adopted daughter

Three uncharacteristic things happened to Woody Allen this Christmas. He left Manhattan. He had paparazzi chasing him around some of Europe's best-known luxury hotels. And he chose to honour his latest long-standing romantic liaison with a wedding ceremony.

The news editors and columnists of the New York tabloids may have poured scorn and moral opprobrium on him five years ago when he first started going out with Soon-Yi, the adoptive daughter of his then consort Mia Farrow. But they were uttering blessings at the very mention of his name this Christmas for providing them with the one thing they cannot usually get at this time of year: a half-decent story.

Woody and Soon-Yi tied the knot in Venice in a ceremony so discreet that nobody realised it was happening until it was long over. There was no big party, no designer clothing, and absolutely no sign of the bride's mother. It was the mayor of Venice, Massimo Cacciari, who let the cat out of the bag at lunchtime on Christmas Eve. "I married them at five o'clock yesterday afternoon," he said. "There's no point keeping it secret any longer."

There followed a rather ridiculous chase along the canals and footbridges of Venice to track down the newlyweds. The television cameras caught up with them, walking arm in arm near their hotel, the Gritti Palace. "I have no comment to make," said a clearly bewildered, pale-faced Allen. "I'm happy to be in Venice." Actually, the 62-year-old director did not look happy at all. His new bride, 35 years his junior, managed a smile but said nothing.

A few hours later, the couple had vanished and the press circus moved on to Paris where it was rumoured they had flown to spend Christmas Day. Sure enough, they had checked into the Ritz. It was pretty slim pickings for the press pack, though, who caught a brief glimpse of Woody disappearing under his bodyguard's armpit and little else.

It was paradoxical that a man accused of cradle-snatching when he first starting dating Soon-Yi in 1992 should now be put under the media spotlight for doing something as respectable and conventional as getting married. Admittedly, this was a unusual step for him; although he spent several years living and working with Diane Keaton, and several more with Farrow, he did not marry either of them.

This was the biggest media event for Allen since his acrimonious split with Farrow and the ensuing legal tussles over custody of their children. He did not look like a man who had learnt to take it all in his stride. In recent years he has been spending more and more time in Europe, filming in Paris, Venice and Taormina in Sicily. He has a special fondness for Venice, partly because he has always been well received at the city's annual film festival. Last year, he even took star billing in a jazz concert staged to raise money for the burned out opera house, La Fenice. In the past he has only consented to play his clarinet on Monday nights at his favourite New York jazz club.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

Recruitment Genius: Interactive / Mobile Developer

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - Midweight

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Front End Developer

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks