Marrying his ‘stepdaughter’ is the controversy Woody Allen will never escape despite claiming he’s not been cancelled

  • Woody Allen’s wife, Soon-Yi Pervin is the adopted daughter of his ex-partner  
  • READ MORE: Woody Allen says he’s ‘always willing’ to meet estranged daughter Dylan Farrow and again DENIES her abuse claims – as he decries cancel culture in the US following rapturous reception in Venice for his new movie

American actor and filmmaker, Woody Allen, is equally acclaimed as he is controversial.

Earlier this week, the 87-year-old Oscar winner received a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival for his 50th film, Coup de Chance.

He’s overcome accusations of sexual abuse from his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, who claimed that Allen touched her inappropriately in August 1992, when she was seven. 

But the actor has decried cancel culture in the US, and as he walked the red carpet in Venice, his wife, Soon Yi- Previn, another one of his greatest controversies, held onto his hand.

The contention comes as Previn, 52, is the adopted daughter of Allen’s ex-partner, Mia Farrow

Woody Allen (pictured left), 87, married his ex-partners adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, 52, (pictured right), the pair are photographed here in 1999 

At the age of six, Soon-Yi was adopted from Korea by Mia Farrow and her husband at the time, Andre Previn.

Allen was first introduced to Soon-Yi Previn when she was around eleven years old, while he was dating Mia Farrow.

By the time Previn was 21, an intimate relationship had started between the two.

The affair with Previn began in December 1991, the same month that Allen adopted Dylan and Moses Farrow, Mia Farrow’s sons, according to The New York Times.

It is alleged that Korean-born Previn bonded with Allen during her final year of high school when she told him that she wanted to be a model.

Allen arranged for photographs to be taken of her and advised her on how to dress.

After spending more time together, the pair’s relationship grew stronger, according to Vanity Fair.

So strong, that in January 1992, Farrow found nude polaroid photographs of her adopted daughter in Allen’s home, when they were still together.

The affair continued into August.

Woody and Soon-Yin have a 35 year age gap, and they were introduced when Soon-Yin was approximately 11 years old 

Mia Farrow, Woody’s ex-partner and mother-figure to Soon-Yi, discovered the affair by finding naked polaroid’s of Soon-Yi in Woody’s apartment 

Farrow resorted to hiring a child psychologist for advice; she described her former lover as ‘satanic and evil’ and pleaded to ‘find a way to stop him’, according to the New York Times.

During the same month, Dylan Farrow claimed that Allen sexually abused her on CBS This Morning, who was seven at the time.

Dylan claimed that Allen touched her inappropriately in August 1992, when she was seven.

She said he abused her in an attic of the Connecticut home where she lived with her mother Mia Farrow and siblings, touching her while she played with a toy train.

But a spark remained between Allen and Previn during the child abuse allegations, and Previn has insisted that Allen is innocent.

The relationship continued, and by 1997, Allen and Previn wed in Venice. They have since adopted two children: Bechet and Manzie.  

Dylan’s sexual abuse allegations were investigated, and no charges ever brought.

Ronan Farrow, the journalist brother of Dylan, wrote about it in 2016, and condemned Hollywood for continuing to work with their father. 

Soon-Yi stuck by Woody throughout sexual abuse allegations from his child, Dylan Farrow, claimed that Allen touched her inappropriately in August 1992

Their brother Moses Farrow, however, has consistently defended their father and accused Mia Farrow of coaching Dylan to accuse Woody, in anger at their divorce.

During this time, Allen’s relationship with Previn continued. 

Allen has remained relatively tight-lipped when it comes to his relationship with Previn, but in March 2021 in CBS Sunday Morning, he commented on the marriage in conversation with Lee Cowan.

He was asked if he ever considered a relationship with his girlfriend’s adopted daughter to be inappropriate.

Allen said ‘no,’ adding ‘there was never a moment that it wasn’t the most natural thing in the world … it didn’t give me pause, because the relationship with Soon-Yi was very gradual. It wasn’t like I went out with her one night and kissed her.

‘I would say of the many women I’ve dated in my life, many women, they were all what the appropriate police would call appropriate – age appropriate,’ he said. ‘Diane Keaton, Mia Farrow, Louise Lasser, my first wife; until Soon-Yi, which is unusual for me.’

Woody referred to his relationship with his ex-partner’s child as ‘the most natural thing in the world’ 

Allen added: ‘If you’d have told me I was going to wind up married, and happily married, to an Asian woman much younger than me, not in show business, I would have said ‘the odds of that are very slim. I don’t think you’re going to be right.’ But that’s what happened.’

Despite the string of controversies, last week, Allen shrugged off the idea of being ‘cancelled’, calling the concept ‘silly’.

‘I feel if you’re going to be canceled, this is the culture to be canceled by,’ he told Variety.

‘I just find that all so silly. I don’t think about it. I don’t know what it means to be canceled. I know that over the years everything has been the same for me. I make my movies.

‘What has changed is the presentation of the films. You know, I work and it’s the same routine for me. I write the script, raise the money, make the film, shoot it, edit it, it comes out. The difference is not is not from cancel culture. The difference is the way they present the films. It’s that that’s the big change.’

Allen also said some of the effects of the #MeToo movement were ‘silly’.

‘I think any movement where there’s actual benefit, where it does something positive, let’s say for women, is a good thing,’ he said.

‘When it becomes silly, it’s silly. I read instances where it’s very beneficial, where the situation has been very beneficial for women, and that’s good.

Upon Woody’s arrival to the Venice Film Festival earlier this week, scuffles broke out as protestors chanted ‘no rape culture’ 

‘When I read of some instances in a story in the paper where it’s silly, then it’s foolish.’

Asked what he meant by ‘silly’, Allen replied: ‘It’s silly, you know, when it’s not really a feminist issue or an issue of unfairness to women. When it’s being too extreme in trying to make it into an issue when, in fact, most people would not regard it as any kind of offensive situation.’

Earlier this week, Allen attended Venice Film Festival for the premier of his new film, Coup de Chance (‘Stroke of Luck’). 

Ahead of the premiere, Allen told a press conference he felt he had had a very lucky life and was fortunate to be healthy and able to continue making films. 

The outing comes just after he said he is ‘always willing’ to meet his estranged daughter Dylan as he again denied her claims he sexually abused her. 

But there arrival on the red carpet was greeted by boos from the crowd ahead of the premier.

Scuffles broke out as protestors chanted ‘no rape culture’ at Allen outside the film festival in Venice, the same city that he married Previn in 1997, who is 35 years his junior.

Despite the frosty reception to Allen outside, journalists during a press conference were reported to have given him a standing ovation as he walked into the room. 

The film is unlikely to be screened in the US after Hollywood cut ties with him following the sexual abuse allegations.

But in Europe he is still working and on Monday night he was given a three-minute standing ovation for his new French-language film.

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