The normally reclusive Mr Allen said in a statement that he was in love with Soon-Yi Previn, whom MsFarrow adopted in the 1970s with her former husband, the conductor Andre Previn. 'Regarding my love for Soon-Yi: it's real and happily all true,' Mr Allen said in a statement reacting to New York newspaper reports yesterday that the affair may have been the last straw in the relationship between him and Ms Farrow.
In his statement, Mr Allen said the Korean-born Soon-Yi is a 'lovely, intelligent, sensitive woman who continues to turn around my life in a wonderfully positive way'.
Mr Allen, 56, has been romantically involved with Soon-Yi Previn for the past seven months, according to stories in the Daily News and the New York Post. Both newspapers attribute the reports to Ms Farrow's 81-year-old mother, the actress Maureen O'Sullivan, and other sources. Soon-Yi Previn 'had been foolish and misguided about an old man', she told the New York Post. 'I mean, he's old enough to be her grandfather.'
On Thursday Mr Allen filed suit in New York State Supreme Court seeking custody of the couple's son, Satchel, 4, and two children they adopted together: a boy Moses, 14, and a girl Dylan, 7. These children and at least six others live with Ms Farrow, 47, in Manhattan. The actress has 11 children, a number of whom are adopted; she is apparently considering adopting two more.
On Saturday Maureen O'Sullivan called the lawsuit a 'cheap shot from a desperate and evil man'.
'As Mia's mother, and speaking for the rest of the family, it has been tragic to watch what she has gone through for the last seven months,' she said. Mr Allen and Ms Farrow, who have been romantically linked for 12 years, have never married and live in separate apartments on opposite sides of New York's Central Park.
In an article headlined 'A Midsummer Night's Sex Tragedy for Woody', the News quoted Ms O'Sullivan as saying 'Mia is broken-hearted and has spent many nights crying.' The story quotes an unidentified source as saying things between Mr Allen and Ms Farrow had been deteriorating for 'a couple of years before he got involved with Soon-Yi'.
Ms Farrow was 21 when she married Frank Sinatra, then 50; their relationship lasted two years. She had three children with Andre Previn, her second husband. Their marriage lasted nine years, by which time they had seven children, the others adopted. Mr Allen, who met Ms Farrow in 1979, is also twice divorced. The couple have worked on 13 films together.