Allen draws curtain

NEW YORK (Reuter) - Woody Allen and Mia Farrow met face-to-face on Tuesday for the first time in their bitter custody fight after a court hearing started the official battle for their three children.

Supporters of both sides said the film-maker and his former leading lady met privately with Judge Phyllis Gangel-Jacob for nearly three hours and agreed to halt the war of words that has marked their two-week-old public dispute. The two were said to be concerned that the dispute - marked by charges and counter-charges - would become a circus and threaten the mental health of their children.

In a court hearing earlier on Tuesday, which was open to the public, a lawyer for Farrow asked the Manhattan Supreme Court judge to deny Allen custody of the children, charging he had taken pornographic photographs of Farrow's grown-up, adopted daughter, Soon- Yi Farrow Previn. The judge refused to look at the pictures.