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Farrow Tells of Offer to Break Allen’s Legs : Custody: Actress says an ex-husband proposed the violent solution to her legal duel with filmmaker. She testifies daughter made second claim of sex abuse.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Mia Farrow testified Friday that one of her prior husbands offered to break Woody Allen’s legs in the midst of the bitter child custody battle between the filmmaker and his former leading lady.

Farrow has been married twice--to conductor Andre Previn and singer Frank Sinatra.

During a day when Allen’s lawyers sought to suggest that she held child abuse allegations over the actor’s head in an effort to obtain a better custody settlement, Farrow acknowledged telling a therapist about the threat to Allen.

Farrow’s lawyer quickly cut off a question about which husband made the offer, and Acting State Supreme Court Justice Elliott Wilk sustained the objection.

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“It was a joke,” Farrow added.

Farrow and Allen had a 12-year relationship but never married.

After she learned that Allen was having an affair with Soon-Yi Farrow Previn, the 22-year-old daughter she adopted with Previn, the actress said that in her struggle to maintain her “moral roots” she read “The Trojan Women” by Euripides, identifying with Hecuba, who puts out the eyes of King Polymestor of Thrace.

Farrow’s lawyer, Eleanor Alter, asked if she saw Allen as the blinded king and if it was a threat.

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“No, definitely not,” Farrow replied. “He (Allen) would have had bodyguards--hundreds of them--if I had really threatened him.”

Farrow also testified that Dylan, the 7-year-old daughter she adopted with Allen, raised a second claim of sexual abuse against the actor about 10 days before a panel of experts in New Haven, Conn., cleared him of an initial allegation that he had molested the child during a visit to her summer home in Bridgewater, Conn., last August.

The panel issued its report last week.

“She told me another story . . . ,” Farrow said, introducing in intimate detail a charge that Allen had inappropriately touched Dylan while the youngster was on a bunk bed ladder.

“I reported it to her psychiatrist,” Farrow said.

The actress also said Dylan denied that Allen had molested her in the first place, just before they went to an appointment with the panel of physicians and social workers investigating the initial molestation charge.

“She told me he did not do anything at all,” Farrow testified, adding that she had quickly passed on that information to the evaluators and to Alter. But on the way back home, the actress continued, Dylan confessed she had fabricated the story that nothing had happened because she wanted to stay home “and watch cartoons.”

Elkan Abramowitz, a lawyer for Allen who called Farrow to the stand as a hostile witness, asked Farrow a series of questions as she ended almost two days of testimony. Farrow replied that she really did not think that the filmmaker was a homosexual. She insisted that she was nervous about any of her children having contact with Allen because she was worried about child abuse.

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Abramowitz asked whether, if she gained sole custody of the three children she shares with Allen, she would permit them to see their father.

Farrow said the children would have their therapists to advise them, and if they wanted to see Allen they could.

Allen and Farrow are fighting over custody of their two adopted children, Dylan and Moses, 14, and Satchel, 5, their biological son.

During her testimony, Farrow admitted that she taped some phone conversations with Allen in the days after the allegation of sexual abuse last August. She denied knowing that her lawyers had suggested a multimillion-dollar settlement from Allen in exchange for keeping the allegation quiet.

“Do you have a recollection of a number being thrown around, 7 or 8 million?” Abramowitz asked.

“It was done without my authority, without my knowledge,” Farrow told the court.


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