Allen defends Soon-Yi affair

WOODY ALLEN has defended his romantic involvement with the 21-year-old adopted daughter of his former companion, Mia Farrow.

'I didn't feel that just because she was Mia's daughter, there was any great moral dilemma,' the 56-year-old film-maker told Time magazine. 'It was a fact, but not one of any great import. It wasn't like she was my daughter.'

The interview will appear in the magazine's 31 August issue. Allen told Time he 'was not a father in any sense of the word' to Farrow's adopted children. He also denied allegations that he molested his seven-year-old adopted daughter, Dylan.

'I have not molested my daughter, nor would I,' Allen said. 'I came in the mid-afternoon for a visit. Allegedly I took her into the attic, according to what the child protection agency told me was the allegation, and did unspeakable things to her.

'But nothing happened. Nothing. In light years I wouldn't go into an attic. I wouldn't even know how to find Mia's attic. I am a famous claustrophobic. And I would not molest my daughter.'

Allen has acknowledged taking nude pictures of Soon-Yi Previn, the daughter of Farrow, 47, and her former husband, Andre Previn. He said Miss Previn asked him to take the photographs. 'We had an intimate relationship, so I said, 'sure', and I did. It was just a lark of the moment.'

Allen said he would continue his relationship with Miss Previn and the two would resume their normal life 'as soon as the reporters go away'.

According to Allen, he and Farrow have been in contact by telephone. He said Farrow had called him five times on Friday and asked if they could stop 'this grotesque publicity circus'.

'I said, you have hired a lawyer, you're parading relatives and the kids on television, you leaked this videotape of Dylan unconscionably (a tape reportedly supporting allegations of abuse). She said, can't we negotiate this?

'I said, first you must clear my name unequivocally. And if you do that and if we can agree to give Dylan some real therapy to get over the dreadful scars of this thing, and if I am part supervisor of that therapy, then, OK, we can talk and see if there's a way of toning things down.'

The entertainer Dick Cavett, a friend of Allen, has dismissed the sex abuse allegations. 'If Woody Allen's a child molester, I will publicly kiss Pat Buchanan,' he said, referring to the right-wing political commentator who ran against George Bush in the Republican presidential primaries.

Woody and his women, page 20

(Photograph omitted)