It was – hell, it still is – one of the most controversial relationships in showbiz. That between Woody Allen and his partner’s 21-year-old adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn.
The pair have now been married 19 years, but as a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter revealed, their union hasn’t become any less… intriguing.
When asked about how the now-40-year-old has changed him, Allen instead chose to wax paternal about the impact he‘s had on her.
“She’s very sophisticated and has been to all the great capitals of Europe. She has just become a different person. So the contributions I’ve made to her life have given me more pleasure than all my films.”
The 80-year-old tells of how Soon-Yi was plucked from her impoverished upbringing in Korea, where she was “living out of trash cans” as an orphaned six-year-old, to triumphantly end up obtaining a college education and joining him on his various globe-trotting adventures.
“And so I’ve been able to really make her life better. I provided her with enormous opportunities, and she has sparked to them,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
What Allen fails to mention is that he was not, in fact, Soon-Yi’s white knight. The now-45-year-old was actually adopted by Allen’s former partner Farrow and her ex-husband André Previn.
Allen with his former partner Mia Farrow and current wife, Soon-Yi Previn.
The interviewer pushed Allen twice more on how his wife had changed him, to which he eventually responded: "I don't think I have changed much over the years at all. When you mention it, I try and think about the ways [I've changed]. I don't know if I've changed much."
Allen was apparently unaffected by the scandal surrounding his affair with Soon-Yi and resulting breakdown of his relationship with Farrow.
"I was immune, yes I was. You can see I worked right through that, undiminished. Made films all through those years and at the same rate I was making them. I'm good that way. I am very disciplined and very monomaniacal and compartmentalised."
Allen previously told NPR that his relationship with Soon-Yi worked because of their age gap and not in spite of it. “I was paternal," Allen said. "She responded to someone who was paternal."
It's not the only scandal Allen has sparked. In 2014, Allen's adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow wrote a public letter accusing him sexually abusing her when she was a child.
Allen has always denied the claims.