The Sad Truth About Woody Allen's Marriage To Soon-Yi Previn

Mia Farrow is known for starring in iconic films such as "Rosemary's Baby," "The Great Gatsby" and more (via Biography). However, the legendary actress has also had a notable personal life. From 1966 to 1968, Farrow was married to Frank Sinatra. Her next marriage was to Andre Previn, a conductor and composer. Per The U.S. Sun, the couple had three biological children and three adopted children, including daughter Soon-Yi Previn. According to Vulture, Soon-Yi was adopted from Korea in May 1977.

When recounting the moment of her adoption, she told the publication, "There was a big excitement and hoopla around her. And she came to me and she threw her arms around me to give me a big hug. I'm standing there rigidly, thinking, Who is this woman, and can she get her hands off of me? She didn't ring true or sincere." In 1979, Farrow and Previn divorced. That same year, PopSugar writes that Farrow met famed director Woody Allen at a restaurant in New York. Vox states that they did not begin dating until 1980.

The pair remained together for 12 years but never married or lived together (via Vox). They did, however, adopt two children together; Moses and Dylan Farrow. They also had one biological child named Satchel Farrow, who now goes by Ronan. In 1992, Farrow discovered nude Polaroid photographs of Soon-Yi in Allen's home, subsequently ending their long-term relationship (per Insider). Soon-Yi was 21 at that time. 

Mia Farrow wanted Woody Allen to have a bond with her daughter

In an interview with Vulture, Soon-Yi states that she first met Allen when she was 10 years old and was disgruntled by him. She said "Woody wasn't interested in meeting us children. And the feeling was mutual; we weren't interested in meeting him. I hated him because he was with my mother, and I didn't understand why anyone could be with such a nasty, mean person. I thought he must be the same way." Nevertheless, People reports that Farrow wanted Allen to form some sort of bond with her adoptive daughter. In the docuseries, "Allen v. Farrow," Farrow divulged that she struggled to create a relationship with Soon-Yi.

Soon-Yi echoes this sentiment in Vulture and adds that Farrow was abusive to her and her other adoptive siblings. She recounts incidents where Farrow threw wooden alphabet blocks at her and threatened to send her to an asylum. Regarding her and her sibling's relationship with Allen, Soon-Yi noted that "We didn't think of him as a father." Even so, Farrow goes on to explain in "Allen v. Farrow" that Allen began taking the children to basketball games (via People). She added that she "encouraged" him to also take Soon-Yi. Meanwhile, Soon-Yi says she became friendlier with Allen as she realized her mother's relationship with him was falling apart (via Vulture).

Their relationship began when Soon-Yi was in college

Soon-Yi admits that she became closer to Allen in the 11th grade after she broke her ankle while playing soccer (per Vulture). He recommended she go to the doctor and later drove to her school when she was on crutches. Shortly after, Allen began taking her to Knicks games. In his 2020 autobiography "Apropos of Nothing" (via People), Allen admits that he began to develop feelings for Soon-Yi during one of their basketball outings. He wrote "As we chatted at the game, I found that I was enjoying her company more than I should have. Cut to some time later ... Soon-Yi comes in from college and I screen 'The Seventh Seal' ... we're alone in my screening room, and quite smoothly, if I do say so myself, I lean in and kiss her."

According to Bustle, Allen said their relationship became sexual in December 1991 when he was 56 and Soon-Yi was a 21-year-old freshman at Drew University. Nevertheless, In "Allen v. Farrow," Farrow states that she believes Allen "groomed" Soon-Yi while she was still in high school (via The Mercury News). 

Whatever the case, Allen and Farrow were still together when the affair began. Per People, Allen referred to the relationship as a "fling" that he assumed would end. However, by August 1992, soon after Farrow discovered the infamous nude photographs of Soon-Yi, the pair went public with their relationship (per Vox). That same month, Dylan Farrow, Allen's adopted daughter with Farrow, told her mother that she had been molested by Allen.

Soon-Yi Previn does not believe that she is a victim

According to Vox, Farrow filed for custody of her three children with Allen, including Dylan, Satchel, and Moses, soon after Dylan revealed that she had been molested. Esquire explains that Allen gave a press conference denying the claims and stated that Farrow was manipulating their daughter as a form of revenge for his relationship with Soon-Yi. Regarding her relationship with Allen, Previn told Newsweek that "I admit that it's offbeat, but let's not get hysterical. I'm not a retarded underage flower who was raped, molested and spoiled by some evil stepfather — not by a long shot." In June 1993, Allen lost custody of his three children.

USA Today writes that Allen has never been charged with molesting Dylan. Furthermore, he continues to deny the allegations. In 2021, in light of the release of "Allen v. Farrow," he told CBS Sunday Morning that "It's so preposterous, and yet the smear has remained." He added "And they still prefer to cling to if not the notion that I molested Dylan, the possibility that I molested her. Nothing that I ever did with Dylan in my life could be misconstrued as that."

In 2018, Soon-Yi told Vulture that the molestation accusations brought her and Allen closer. She also revealed that she felt guilty for engaging in a relationship with her mother's boyfriend but went on to say that she knew she was in love with Allen after their first kiss.

Allen finds the relationship normal

In December 1997, CNN reported that Allen and Soon-Yi Previn had married in Venice, Italy. At the time, Allen was 62 while his bride was 27. In "Apropos of Nothing," Allen writes that he and Soon-Yi only got married for "financial" reasons" (via Page Six). Because of their large age gap, he wanted to ensure that if he died, she received everything. According to Bustle, the pair later adopted two infant daughters, Bechet and Manzie Allen in 1999 and 2000, respectively. Soon-Yi, per Vulture, did not want to have biological children because of her belief that it's the "height of vanity and very egocentric."

In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Allen stated that Soon-Yi "turned out to be the deepest relationship in my life" (per USA Today). He added that he did not believe that their relationship was inappropriate. He explained that 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." However, Allen told the Daily Mail that he understood why his relationship with Soon-Yi upset many. He stated, 'It looked to the outside world that it was an exploitative situation -– that I would exploit her as an older predatory male, and she would exploit me for whatever I had. That was never the case."

His daughters with Soon-Yi approve of their relationship

After the adoption of Bechet and Manzie, Vulture writes that Allen and Soon-Yi settled into domestic bliss. Lorinda Ash, Soon-Yi's friend, told the publication that she became dedicated to her children. Ash stated that "She [Soon-Yi] made sure they got the best tennis lessons, piano, guitar, ballet classes, whatever. She was always researching and asking advice. At the same time, she insisted that they practice and do their homework. Their life was very structured." The couple are still married and their daughters are now adults. Even so, Soon-Yi admitted that the couple fights mostly about the kids as she is the disciplinarian while Allen is more of a pushover.

According to Page Six, Soon-Yi and Allen raised their children in a townhouse in New York's Upper East Side. By all accounts, Bechet and Manzie do not believe in the molestation allegations against their father and have repeatedly defended their parents' relationship on social media. Bechet is active on Instagram where she has uploaded photos of her parents. In several of her posts, Bechet openly praises her mother, father, and their marriage. In one post from 2020, she wrote an anniversary message that read "Here's to 22 years of the strongest love I've ever seen, and many more to come."