An attorney for actress Mia Farrow attempted Tuesday to get a judge to look at nude photographs that actor-director Woody Allen took of her 21-year-old adopted daughter, Allen's acknowledged lover, claiming the pictures are pornographic and an indication of Allen's warped mind.
But state Supreme Court Justice Phyllis Gangel-Jacob, in the first day of hearings on opening motions in the bitter child custody case initiated by Allen, refused to look at the photographs, which Allen contends he made to help Farrow's daughter, Soon-Yi Farrow Previn, with a modeling career.
Allen and Farrow did not appear at the public court hearing, but the estranged couple met privately in chambers with the judge later in the day in efforts to reach an agreement that might avoid an ugly trial and the attendant publicity.
After the nearly three-hour meeting, Leslee Dart, Allen's spokeswoman, said the couple had agreed to stop the publicity war.
"There was a meeting and both parties, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow and their counsel, have voluntarily agreed and represented to Justice Gangel-Jacob that they would make no further statements to anyone, including the press," Dart said. She would provide no further details of the session.
An example of the bitterness that might lie ahead in the case came early Tuesday when Farrow's attorney, Eleanor Alter, brandished a packet containing the pictures at Gangel-Jacob. "These are not modeling photographs," she said. "They are pornographic. They indicate the mental instability of the man (Allen) in question."
Allen's attorney, J. Martin Obten, called Alter's attempt inflammatory and denounced it as a further attempt by Farrow to grab media attention.
Gangel-Jacob said she was not interested in seeing the pictures, which Farrow has said she discovered at Allen's Central Park apartment. She ordered Farrow not to take the three minor children she shares with Allen out of the country, but rejected a request by Allen's attorneys to set up an immediate visitation schedule.
Obten said that Allen had not seen the children for almost three weeks and feared that Farrow might be poisoning their minds with lies about him. "We are greatly concerned that the children are under the total control of (Farrow)," Obten argued.
Gangel-Jacob instructed attorneys on both sides to work out a visitation schedule and report back if they cannot come to an agreement. She indicated that she was willing to grant Allen visitation rights, despite Farrow's allegations that Allen had sexually abused their 7-year-old adopted daughter.
Obten said Allen "is vitally interested in seeing his children."
Allen, who vehemently denies the child abuse charge, wants a third party present during any visits so that Farrow would not be able to make any further claims that he had acted improperly with the youngsters, Obten said.
In their private meeting with the judge, Allen and Farrow were believed to have discussed the visitation rights question and possibly an agreement by Farrow to drop the child abuse charge in return for Allen's withdrawing the custody petition.
Allen filed a petition Aug. 13 seeking custody of the two adopted children he has with Farrow--Moses, 14, and Dylan, 7--as well as their biological son, Satchel, 4.
Allen sued for custody five days after learning that Connecticut State Police were investigating Farrow's allegations that he had molested Dylan at Farrow's country estate in Connecticut.
Although Allen has acknowledged his love affair with Soon-Yi Farrow Previn, whom Farrow adopted from an orphanage in Korea during her marriage to pianist-conductor Andre Previn, the filmmaker vehemently has denied charges by the Farrow camp that he abused Dylan.
Allen also claims to have taken a lie detector test on the abuse allegation and passed "with flying colors."
At Tuesday's hearing in Supreme Court--New York state's trial-level court--attorneys for both sides were given a Sept. 1 deadline to submit all replies to petitions and cross-petitions to the court. Gangel-Jacob set Sept. 4 as the next court date.