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A complete timeline of the tangled history between Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, and Soon-Yi Previn.

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For decades, the tangled history between Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Soon-Yi Previn, and Dylan Farrow has played out in the headlines.

The complicated story first surfaced publicly in the early 1990s when Dylan Farrow, then seven years old, accused Woody Allen of sexually abusing her in the attic of Mia Farrow's home.

For years afterwards the story lay dormant.

Watch the trailer for Allen v. Farrow below. Post continues after video.


Video via HBO.

Now, following the #MeToo movement, a new documentary is shedding light on the case.

Using interviews with Mia Farrow and Dylan Farrow, Allen v. Farrow is painting a chilling picture of what happened in the homes of former couple Mia Farrow and Woody Allen when it came to their children. 

Amid the release of the new four-part Foxtel and Binge documentary series, here's a reminder of the complicated story.

Woody Allen's relationship with Mia Farrow.

In the 1980s, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow were one of the most powerful couples in Hollywood.

After they started a relationship in 1980, Farrow starred in 13 of the famed director's films.

However, despite working closely together, Allen and Farrow lived largely separate lives.

When the pair first met in 1979, Farrow was divorced with seven children. (Farrow had three biological sons from her marriage to composer André Previn, three adopted daughters, and one adopted son). But as Allen had no interest in raising children, the couple opted to live in separate apartments on opposite sides of New York City's Central Park.

In 1984, Farrow suggested to Allen they have a biological child together.

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Woody Allen and Mia Farrow in 1985. Image: Getty. "He said, 'Yeah, I would not object to that, but you have to understand I have zero interest in a kid, so you would be entirely responsible, financially and in every way,'" Farrow claimed in Allen v. Farrow.

After struggling to fall pregnant, Farrow suggested adoption.

"He said if I wanted to do that, then it wouldn’t ruin the relationship, but he wanted nothing to do with it. I thought... that’s fair," she recalled.

But Allen had a specific request, reportedly telling Farrow: "I might be more kindly disposed if it’s a little blonde girl."

"I thought if he cares about that I should try to find a little girl like that. And maybe he’ll love her," Farrow said.

In 1985, Farrow adopted a baby girl, Dylan Farrow. Afterwards, Allen began spending more time with Farrow's children. 

"I quickly found this tiny baby girl adorable, and found myself more and more holding [Dylan], playing with her and completely falling in love with her, delighted to be her father," Allen wrote in his 2020 autobiography, Apropos of Nothing.

Two years later, Farrow gave birth to the couple's first biological child, Satchel Farrow. (Now known as Ronan Farrow, the award-winning investigative journalist has been a major figure in the #MeToo movement).

Woody Allen and Mia Farrow in 1986. Image: Getty. But after Ronan was born, Allen and Farrow's intimate relationship ended as Allen adopted Dylan as well as Farrow's adopted son Moses.

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Woody Allen's relationship with Soon-Yi Previn.

In 1991, Allen became close to Farrow's adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. (Farrow and her former husband adopted Previn from Korea in 1977.)

A few days after Christmas, Allen and Previn started a sexual relationship. At the time, Allen was 56 and Previn was 21.

A month later, Farrow found nude Polaroids of Previn in Allen's apartment.

"They wouldn’t put them in Playboy," Farrow said of the photos. "They were Hustler pictures. Really, really raunchy pictures."

When she confronted him, Allen reportedly replied: "I'm in love with Soon-Yi. I would marry her."

He then said: "No, I just said that. It's something I thought of it in the car, I thought it would make it better if I put it that way. No, I love you." 

Farrow continued: "There was all of that for four hours — 'I just made a mistake, I lost control'. I didn't know what to think. I just needed him to get out."

Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn in 1999. Image: Getty. 

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Months later, Allen admitted he had no moral qualms with his relationship with Previn.

"I didn't feel that just because she was Mia's daughter, there was any great moral dilemma. It was a fact, but not one with any great import. It wasn't like she was my daughter," he told Time Magazine in an August 1992 interview.

"I am not Soon-Yi's father or stepfather. I've never even lived with Mia. I never had any family dinners over there. I was not a father to her adopted kids in any sense of the word."

Previn agreed, later telling Vulture in 2018: "We didn’t think of him as a father. He didn’t even have clothing at our house, not even a toothbrush." 

In the controversial exclusive interview with the publication, Previn shared she was "madly in love" with Allen.

[I was] completely attracted to him, physically and sexually. I know he’d said that I’d meet someone in college, but I’d already decided," she told Vulture.

"From the first kiss I was a goner and loved him."

She also admitted that she initially denied her secret relationship with Allen.

Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn in 2016. Image: Getty. 

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"I remember the phone call when [Mia Farrow] found the photos," Previn said.

"I picked up the phone and Mia said, 'Soon-Yi.' That’s all she needed to say, in that chilling tone of voice. I knew my life was over and that she knew, just by the way she said my name. 

"When she came home, she asked me about it, and I — survival instinct — denied it. And then she said, 'I have photos.'"

When Previn's Vulture interview was first published, the article was widely criticised as the writer, Daphne Merkin, had been friends with Allen for decades.

Dylan Farrow also released a statement, condemning the piece.

"The idea of letting a friend of an alleged predator write a one-sided piece attacking the credibility of his victim is disgusting," she wrote in a lengthy statement.

On December 22, 1997, Allen and Previn were married in Venice. They later adopted two daughters together, Bechet Dumaine Allen and Manzie Tio Allen. 

To this day, the couple are still together.

Dylan Farrow's allegations.

After the news that Woody Allen was dating Soon-Yi Previn emerged, Dylan Farrow, then seven years old, accused Allen of sexually abusing her.

 At the time, Allen denied the accusations, calling them "false" and "outrageous" in a press conference.

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Dylan Farrow and Mia Farrow in 2016. Image: Getty. 

Following a seven-month inquiry, a team of investigators concluded Allen did not sexually assault Dylan. And for years afterwards, the story remained dormant.

Decades later, the case emerged once again when Allen received a Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2014.

"Missed the Woody Allen tribute — did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age seven before or after Annie Hall?" Ronan Farrow tweeted.

Ronan Farrow in 2020. Image: Getty. 

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Afterwards, Dylan Farrow was interviewed in a 2014 Vanity Fair exposé detailing her claims against Allen. She also wrote op-eds for The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times asking why the director had been spared by the #MeToo movement.

Dylan Farrow alleged that Allen sexually assaulted her in the attic of Mia Farrow's New York home when she was seven years old. She also claimed the director groomed her, touched her inappropriately and that he once "buried" his head in her lap after taking off her underwear.

In 2018, Soon-Yi Preven responded to the longstanding allegations in an interview with Vulture.

"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," she said.

Woody Allen's response to Allen v. Farrow.

Allen has always vehemently denied Dylan Farrow's allegations.

As for the Allen v. Farrow documentarythe 85-year-old has labelled the series a "shoddy hit piece".

Listen to Mamamia's daily entertainment podcast, The Spill, below. Post continues after podcast.

"These documentarians had no interest in the truth," a statement from Allen and Previn read.

"Instead, they spent years surreptitiously collaborating with the Farrows and their enablers to put together a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods.

"Woody and Soon-Yi were approached less than two months ago and given only a matter of days 'to respond'. Of course, they declined to do so."

For more on this topic:

The first two episodes of Allen v. Farrow is available to watch on Foxtel now. New episodes will premiere weekly. 

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

This post was originally published on February 25, 2021, and updated with new information on March 2, 2021.

Feature Image: Getty.