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Allen Says He Told Farrow Lie in Effort to Calm Her

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Testifying under sharp cross-examination, Woody Allen said Monday that at one point he told Mia Farrow he had ended his affair with her 22-year-old adopted daughter while he really was “in constant contact” with her “five or six times a day.”

Allen said he used the ruse in an attempt to calm Farrow, who was in a rage over Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi Farrow Previn, the adopted daughter of Farrow and her former husband, conductor Andre Previn.

The filmmaker also told the court that his former leading lady sent him a valentine--a card containing turkey skewers and a knife.

“I was at Miss Farrow’s house and she said she was working on a valentine for me,” Allen testified in New York State Supreme Court, where a judge is hearing his motion to gain custody of their three children--Satchel, 5, their biological son; Dylan, 7, their adopted daughter, and Moses, 14, their adopted son.

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After Farrow gave him the valentine, Allen said he opened it in his car. “I was stunned, terrified,” he said. “I put it in a Tiffany box for preservation.”

The filmmaker also said that on several occasions after Farrow learned of his affair with Soon-Yi, Farrow wanted to go to a hotel with him--and they did.

“A couple of times, I slept with her (Farrow). I did everything I could to get things calmed down,” Allen told the court as Farrow watched with her lawyers and occasionally took notes on a white legal pad.

But Allen said Farrow’s rage was unabated.

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Farrow told “terrible things” about him to the children, he said.

“She said I was the devil. She said, ‘Your father did a terrible thing to Soon-Yi.’ She took a picture off the wall and broke it. The kids did not know what that was about,” Allen said. “There was one horrific incident after another.”

Farrow’s lawyers contend that Allen should not have custody over the children because he did not disclose his relationship with Soon-Yi during adoption proceedings for Dylan and Moses. The actor and director said his affair with Soon-Yi began after the adoption proceedings.

Allen said he was not trying to take the children away from Farrow and that if he gained custody he would “encourage their love for Mia.”

About his relationship with Soon-Yi, Allen said: “Perhaps this was wrong. I did love her. I do love her.”

The 57-year-old filmmaker said it was Soon-Yi’s suggestion that he take nude Polaroid photos of her--photos that revealed their relationship when Farrow discovered them in his apartment.


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