Soon-Yi Previn has largely remained secretive about her personal life and relationship with Woody Allen—until now.
A New York Magazine profile published today (Sept. 17) is the first time she’s spoken publicly on the sexual-molestation allegations against her husband, which she calls untrue, stating that the director is “a poor, pathetic thing. He’s so naïve and trusting, he was probably putty in her hands.” Of her relationship with Mia Farrow, her adoptive mother, and her sister Dylan—who has accused Allen of molesting her—Previn tells the literary critic Daphne Merkin:
I was never interested in writing a Mommie Dearest, getting even with Mia—none of that. But what’s happened to Woody is so upsetting, so unjust. [Mia] has taken advantage of the #MeToo movement and paraded Dylan as a victim. And a whole new generation is hearing about it when they shouldn’t.
Previn, 47, has been married to Allen, 82, for 20 years. Previn and Allen’s relationship reportedly began in 1992, when she was 21. Allen was in a longterm relationship with Farrow. (Farrow and ex-husband André Previn adopted Previn when she was a young child, though her exact birth date is not known.)
Farrow is the mother of 11 living children, four biological and seven adopted. Among her biological children is Ronan Farrow, the journalist who has broken stories on alleged sexual predators over the past year for The New Yorker, including investigative features on Harvey Weinstein, former CBS president Les Moonves, and most recently, US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Both Ronan Farrow, whom his mother and Allen presented as the director’s son, and his sister Dylan, adopted by Farrow and Allen, are estranged from the director.
The profile has sparked outrage online, largely due to Merkin’s personal relationship with Allen. “I myself have been friends with Allen for over four decades and have always been somewhat mystified by him, in part because of the almost Aspergian aloneness of the man and in part because of the genuine diffidence—the lack of a discernible ego—that lies just beneath both a lifetime’s worth of ambitious productivity and his nebbishy film persona,” writes Merkin. “His unwillingness, or perhaps inability, to contest his ongoing vilification — or, when he does take it on, to fan the flames.”
For many readers, her disclosure is a massive warning signal: It seems highly unlikely that Merkin could write in an unbiased fashion. New York Magazine stood by the piece today, telling CBS News that Previn’s story deserved to be told and that the relationship between the author and Allen was disclosed properly.
In response, both Ronan Farrow and Dylan Farrow have issued statements, which you can read here:
Ronan Farrow’s statement, issued via Twitter:
Dylan Farrow’s statement, issued via Twitter:
Dylan—now a writer and advocate for survivors of sexual assault—first accused Allen of sexually assaulting her in 1992, amidst her parents’ explosive breakup. He has denied wrongdoing. Dylan renewed her allegations in 2014 and again in a 2017 New York Times op-ed asking why Allen had been spared in the #MeToo reckoning sweeping Hollywood. The Connecticut prosecutor who investigated the 1992 allegations said he did have probable cause to press charges against Allen but declined, due to the fragility of the “child victim.”