Allen's custody battle turns bitter as life imitates art

(First Edition)

WHEN sex scandals erupt around the heads of prominent New Yorkers, and details of their love lives dominate the salacious New York tabloids, the usual reaction is to go into hiding and wait for the storm to blow over.

Woody Allen, who is reclusive when things are going well, is basking in the glare of media attention now that his love affair with his adopted 21-year-old daughter, Soon-Yi, is public knowledge.

Despite a statement by the Connecticut state police that 'there is an investigation against Mr Allen, but no specific charges have been filed yet because it's still under investigation' and banner headlines like the New York Post's 'Mia's got nude pix,' Allen turned up to play the clarinet for his regular gig before an audience of tourists and fans at Michael's Pub on Monday night.

'Regarding my love for Soon-Yi: it's real and happily all true,' he had earlier said in a statement issued by his agent. 'She's a lovely, intelligent, sensitive woman who has and continues to turn around my life in a wonderfully positive way.'

The collision between the film director's life and his art is consuming countless column inches in the papers as commentators explore the parallels between his 1977 film, Manhattan, in which he plays a 42 year-old writer who falls in love with a teenager played by Mariel Hemingway. His movie Hannah and Her Sisters depicted a character played by his now estranged companion of 12 years and as many film collaborations, Mia Farrow, whose husband has an affair with her younger sister.

The strands in the latest plot are as twisted as any Mr Allen has explored in the past, and thanks to an ugly public battle for the custody of three of Ms Farrow's brood of 11 the saga is expected to run and run in New York.

Soon-Yi Farrow Previn was born in Korea and was adopted as a young child by Ms Farrow and her second husband, Andre Previn, the conductor. Ms Farrow's first marriage to Frank Sinatra (she was 21, he was 50) was childless and she has since adopted seven children, including Soon-Yi. She has also had four children of her own.

Soon-Yi and Allen began their affair seven months ago, but as pictures in several newspapers demonstrated yesterday, they were seen holding hands at a basketball game as long ago as January 1990.

The reports of nude pictures of Soon-Yi and the police investigation of Mr Allen appear to be part of Ms Farrow's strategy to ensure that he is not granted custody of three children over whom he has filed suit. They are Moses Amadeus Farrow, 14, an adopted boy, Dylan O'Sullivan Farrow, 7, also adopted, and Satchel O'Sullivan Farrow, 4 and a half, the couple's only natural born son.

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

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Media Sales - OTE up to £30,000

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Software Developer

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Recruitment Genius: Part-time Editor

£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935