Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn started dating when the former was still with Mia Farrow, Previn's adoptive mom.
Some scandals in Hollywood left a mark long after they occurred. One of them is 84-year-old Woody Allen's relationship with the adopted daughter of his former girlfriend, actress Mia Farrow. The Rosemary's Baby actress is a mother to 11 living children, four of whom are biological and seven are adopted.
In 1978, Farrow adopted Soon-Yi Previn, 49, from Korea with former husband André Previn. The year after she was adopted, Farrow and Previn divorced, and the child went on to be at the center of controversy later. The Korean-American girl was linked to Woody Allen, the new boyfriend her mother was dating in the late 1980s, according to People.
Soon-Yi was around 10 years old when she was first introduced to Woody Allen as the daughter of his then girlfriend, Mia Farrow. Farrow and Allen were together for 12 years before Farrow found photos of a nude Soon-Yi in Allen's possession. By 1992, the Alice actress didn't consider her adopted daughter as her child anymore. Farrow went so far as to banish Soon-Yi from the home, according to CheatSheet.
When Farrow threw her first adopted child out of the family home, she responded in a statement, "I’m not a retarded little underage flower who was raped, molested, and spoiled by some evil stepfather — not by a long shot." She was setting her image straight after her adoptive mother called her dim and slow. She claimed that the only positive thing her mother said to her in all their years together was that she was "elegant."
Soon-Yi told Vulture recently that she and Allen were consenting adults when they started seeing each other and she regrets that her adoptive mom saw some pictures of her in the possession of Allen which were of private nature. She also added that she never thought of him as her father even though he had dated Farrow for more than a decade.
Five years after Farrow stopped thinking of Soon-Yi as her daughter, the young girl married Allen. They even adopted a child together and Soon-Yi became a stay-at-home mom living in Manhattan.
Allen's actions were considered dubious even in those times and more recently, when the incident was again in the news, he addressed people's questions. However, he still defended his marriage. He admitted that it "looked exploitative" to the "outside world," as per Mail on Sunday.
Allen and Soon-Yi got married in 1997 after dating since the time when she was in college. "I admit, it didn’t make sense when our relationship started," Allen told the Mail on Sunday. "On the surface, we looked like an irrational match."
"I was much older and she was an adopted kid…It looked to the outside world that it was an exploitative situation – that I would exploit her as an older predatory male, and she would exploit me for whatever I had. That was never the case. In the past, I had always gone out with actresses, but for whatever inexplicable reason, with Soon-Yi it worked," he said.
They are still together even though he previously described his relationship with her as "paternal." According to the Independent, the director of Midnight in Paris said, "I’m 35 years older, and somehow, through no fault of mine or hers, the dynamic worked. I was paternal. She responded to someone paternal."
He has also battled accusations of abuse from Dylan Farrow since 1992. He called those claims "false" before adding that it was "great tabloid drama." "I am aware I am the subject of gossip and scandal, but I cannot let it bother me. I live my life. I work. I play jazz. I watch sports. I see my friends. I don’t look up and I don’t read anything," he added.
His wife of 23 years has also spoken up about the controversy around her marriage and set records straight about her bond with Farrow. "I was never interested in writing a Mommie Dearest, getting even with Mia — none of that," Soon-Yi told Vulture. "But what’s happened to Woody is so upsetting, so unjust. [Mia] has taken advantage of the #MeToo movement and paraded Dylan as a victim. And a whole new generation is hearing about it when they shouldn’t," she added.