Monday, April 22, 2024

Mia Farrow Flew to London in 2005 to Defend Director Roman Polanski, Convicted of Sex with a 13 Year Old, in Libel Trial


Mia Farrow, the angel who can do no wrong.

In 2005, Mia left her assortment of children, got on a plane and flew to London. The reason? To appear in open court and defend Roman Polanski — by then notoriously the accused rapist in 1977 of a 13 year old — in a libel trial. This was 2005, mind you, 13 years after she accused Woody Allen of attacking her daughter, Dylan.

None of this is included in the HBO doc “Allen v. Farrow” concluding tonight on HBO. Filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering didn’t like this part, so they left it out.

Polanski couldn’t attend the trial in person. He would have been arrested if he came to London. So he watched by Video Link from Paris. But Mia came all the way to London to defend her old friend and director from “Rosemary’s Baby.”

None of Mia’s defenders and praisers see anything wrong with this. Mia hates Woody Allen, but loves Roman Polanski.

Polanski was suing Vanity Fair for saying that he stopped in Elaine’s restaurant in 1969 on his way to Los Angeles two weeks after the brutal murder of his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, by the the Manson family. The Vanity Fair story claimed that he was with a “Swedish beauty” at dinner, slid his hand between her thighs, and “promised to make her the next Sharon Tate.”

But Mia said and she then new husband Andre Previn — the ex husband of her friend Dory Previn, from whom she’d wrested the composer — were at the table and no such thing happened. (Previn himself couldn’t remember any details of the conversation.)

On the stand, Mia was told that Polanski had resumed having casual sex with different women not long after Tate was murdered.

Mia, paragon of virtue, 13 years after her boyfriend had left with her adopted daughter, replied: “I feel there’s a big distinction – for men maybe – between relationships and having sex. I don’t see that as disrespect of Sharon … I would swear that on a stack of Bibles.”

The dinner at Elaine’s occurred in 1969. But Mia’s defense of Polanski was in 2005, almost 30 years after the director had been charged with statutory rape of a 13 year old in California in 1977. After serving a short time in jail, Polanski fled the US has never returned.

So this quite an act of endorsement on Farrow’s part, to fly across the Atlantic Ocean and appear in public to defend Polanski.

The director won the case against Vanity Fair. He was awarded won £50,000 in libel damages, plus legal fees and other costs.

Mia, as usual, remained a contradiction in terms. In the years following, her brother would be convicted of child molestation and spend 7 years in prison. Three of her adopted children would die, two from suicide. Another brother would commit suicide.

And none of this is included in “Allen v. Farrow” or any other of the screeds, tirades, and diatribes Mia has launched against Woody Allen over the years.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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