Wow–the New York Post went all out on Sunday to attack Woody Allen. They rehashed twenty year old stories, and used past quotes from Woody and Mia Farrow‘s biological son as if they were spoken to the Post. They weren’t. What they did do was make Ronan Farrow, who was born Satchel Allen, seem brainwashed by his mother. And the 24 year old’s supposedly a genius. Where does he think he got it from? His father is one of the great moviemakers and writers of all time.
We may all have disagreed with his decisions in 1991–that’s 1991–to leave Farrow for her adopted daughter, Soon Yi. But the couple is still together after two decades. And they have two children who seem happy and well adjusted. There’s no explanation for such an attack on Allen except that he’s getting Oscar mentions everywhere for his terrific film, “Midnight in Paris.” He’s also been the subject of a great documentary on PBS. The New York Post piece, by Maureen Callahan, didn’t come out of nowhere. But wow–the Post should have just called it “Assassinating Woody.”
I say, bull—-. Woody Allen is an artist. He may have questionable judgment, but he did nothing to that kid. Or any other kid. At the time of the Woody-Mia scandal, Farrow alleged all sorts of improprieties. None of them was true. But she punished him by cutting him off from Ronan/Satchel/Seamys, and from the two kids he’d adopted with Mia–Moses and Eliza/Dylan/Malone. She even changed their names, as if they were pets. No one can underestimate the amount of hurt Farrow suffered. But Sunday’s story was uncalled for, no matter what happened.
Let’s not forget a couple of things. Mia Farrow was 21 when she married Frank Sinatra, who was 50. So she can’t complain about the age difference between Woody (75) and Soon Yi (40). Then, sorry, she “stole” Andre Previn from his wife, Dory Previn, who’s written about it. Soon Yi, who was adopted by Farrow (not Allen) at age 13, said she considered Andre Previn her adopted father. Woody was her mother’s boyfriend.
It worries me, too, when Farrow is trotted out as the perfect mother, particularly for adopted so many kids. After the break up with Allen, Farrow adopted six more children in addition to the ones she had and her biological children. Two of her adopted daughters have died. And one of them, a boy, she named Elliot for the judge–Elliot Wilk–who presided over her child custody case with Allen. (By the way, Wikipedia needs a citation for that–it came from me, in New York magazine, 1995, Intelligencer column. I broke that story.)
Her total number of kids was 15. Yes, Fifteen.
PS here are the lyrics to Dory Previn’s famous song about Mia Farrow, called “Beware of Young Girls:”
“Beware of young girls who come to your door,
Wistful and pale, twenty and four,
Delivering daisies with delicate hands.
Beware of young girls, too often they crave,
To cry at a wedding…and dance on a grave.”
“She was my friend, my friend, my friend.
She was invited to my house, oh yes she was,
And although she knew my love was true, and no ordinary thing,
She admired my wedding ring, she admired my wedding ring.”
“We were friends, oh yes we were,
And she just took him from my life, oh yes she did.
So young and vain, she brought me pain, but I’m wise enough to say,
She will leave him one thoughtless day, she’ll just leave him and go away, oh yes.”