Keaton tipped as Allen's next leading lady

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The Independent Online
THE WAR between Woody Allen and Mia Farrow took a bizarre twist yesterday when it was revealed that Allen had taken and passed a lie detector test. His lawyer said Allen had proved he was telling the truth when he denied sexually molesting their adopted daughter aged seven.

On other fronts of the war, both sides continuing their scorched-earth tactics of denouncing one another in public while the conflict over Allen's affair with her adopted daughter and the allegations of child abuse continued to inflame public passions.

The attacks and counterattacks are being conducted by high-powered proxies for each side, the lawyers, publicists and agents, with an occasional foray by one of Farrow's 11 children.

The stakes could hardly be higher in this very New York custody drama, and the viciousness with which the former lovers have been going at each other has left bystanders speechless. Yesterday it became known that Diane Keaton, Woody Allen's former girlfriend and favourite leading lady before Farrow came on the scene, is being tipped to replace her in the director's next movie.

Farrow has been the leading lady in the 13 movies Allen has made since 1980, including Crimes and Misdemeanors, Alice and Hannah and Her Sisters. Keaton starred in earlier Allen films including Annie Hall, Manhattan, Love and Death and Sleeper.

One of Farrow's other adopted daughters, Lark Previn, turned up on Wednesday at the New York Post to try to find out the whereabouts of her sister Soon-Yi, with whom Allen says he is having an affair. In an interview with the paper, Lark, 19, said her mother held a family meeting when she learnt of the affair between Allen and Soon-Yi Previn. 'She (Farrow) asked her to stay with the family,' and said 'you should know this is wrong,' according to Lark Previn. At this Soon-Yi ran out of the room in tears. She left home soon afterwards and is now in seclusion on a New Jersey university campus.

Word of Keaton's possible casting in the new movie, Manhattan Murder Mystery, came as more details emerged of how Farrow reacted when she discovered adopted daughter Soon-Yi was sleeping with Allen, her lover of 11 years. Farrow, 47, called a meeting of her family after discovering nude photographs of Soon-Yi in Mr Allen's flat - although she bore him a child, Satchel, 4, the couple never lived together - and tearfully asked the girl to choose between the family and Allen. The young woman, who was taken out of poverty in Korea as a child, chose to stay with Allen and has been out of contact with her family since doing so.

The ugly battle now includes a home-made videotape in which Farrow reportedly asks their 7-year-old adopted daughter, Dylan, if Allen ever sexually abused her. A reporter who viewed the tape, Rosanna Scotto, said that 'the tape seems to support Farrow's allegations of abuse. The child seemed nervous and shaken.'

Allen announced on Tuesday that Farrow was accusing him of molesting the girl, which he vehemently denied. The State Police in Connecticut have admitted only that the director is the subject of an investigation, which was automatically touched off by a complaint of possible child abuse.

The police investigation would normally be kept secret but it was made public, evidently by Farrow's side. Her publicist, John Springer, confirmed that the actress videotaped her daughter and made several copies of the tape, presumably to use in evidence when the two sides meet next Tuesday in state Supreme Court, where a judge is expected to set a hearing date in the dispute over custody of Dylan, their adopted son Moses, 14, and Satchel.

In a damaging development for Allen, it also emerged that he adopted two of the three children of whom he is seeking custody, only after he began his affair with Soon-Yi last December. As he made the disclosure before a 3.5 million television audience, Farrow's lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, said that his job was 'to try to resolve this thing quietly without the need for publicity in the courts'. Mr Dershowitz is best known for winning the acquittal of the wealthy socialite Claus von Bulow who was charged with trying to kill his wife. He also acted for Leona Helmsley, the New York hotel queen who is in jail for tax evasion.

Mr Dershowitz claims that when Allen began his affair with Soon-Yi Previn last December he was still romantically involved with Farrow. Two weeks later, Allen formally adopted two of Farrow's children without telling the adoption authorities of his sexual relationship with their sister.