Allen in threat to sue over sex claims

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The Independent Online
NEW YORK (Reuter) - Lawyers for Woody Allen threatened yesterday to sue Vanity Fair magazine for libel after it printed a story alleging that he sexually abused the 7-year-old daughter he adopted with actress Mia Farrow.

In the latest round of what has become an increasingly ugly public feud between Allen and his estranged lover, the film-maker's lawyers said that they would sue Vanity Fair, the author of the article Maureen Orth, and sources who are named in the story 'at the appropriate time'.

Vanity Fair said it was standing by the story. It said Orth wrote the article after interviewing 40 people, including 24 on 'intimate terms with the subjects'. Orth's story details alleged incidents that the people interviewed said support Farrow's contention that Allen sexually abused 7-year-old Dylan Farrow. The magazine has already been criticised for the complete lack of privacy that it has accorded Allen, Farrow and their adopted and natural-born children.

Allen's lawyers, J. Martin Obten and Harvey Sladkus, said in a statement that the article was 'false and defamatory'. 'We are outraged that Mia Farrow in her singular goal of attempting to damage Woody Allen has again trashed in the media innocent children by further invading their privacy,' the statement said.

It added that the article had only strengthened Allen's resolve to 'demonstrate in court that she is an unfit mother'. Allen and Farrow are fighting a bitter custody battle over their three children, two of them adopted and one natural.

Connecticut state police are investigating allegations of sexual abuse of Dylan by Allen, who has denied the claims and said that Farrow is conducting a campaign against him because he is having an affair with Soon-Yi Previn, her 21-year-old daughter she adopted with conductor Andre Previn. For some time before the allegations appeared in Vanity Fair, Allen and Farrow had appeared to be observing a truce, at least in public.

(Photograph omitted)