10. He didn’t look after Fletcher during a shoot.
Allen hired Farrow’s 11-year-old son to act in Radio Days. During an all-day roof-top shoot on a cold, windy afternoon, because the film was a period piece set in the 1940s Fletcher was wearing clothing more suitable for the camera than the weather. “Instead of breaking for lunch, cups of hot soup had been handed out to the crew, but nobody gave anything to Fletcher.” Meanwhile, Allen was wearing his “Eddie Bauer arctic gear, drinking hot soup, without any thought or feeling or sense of responsibility for Fletcher.” The poor kid returned home freezing and “beyond hunger”.
11. Soon-Yi hated him as a child and he wanted nothing to do with her.
Long before their notorious affair, Allen’s future third wife reacted badly to Farrow’s pregnancy (“she burst into angry, uncomprehending tears”) and declared “he was nasty and ugly, and the baby [Satchel] would be ugly like him.” When Farrow would ask Allen to do fatherly stuff with her like going for walks or buying her ice cream, he always refused.
12. Despite breaking up with him, he kept seeing Farrow until she gave him another chance.
Realizing her scary dependency on a cold, abusive artist was greatly interfering with her own happiness and self-identity, not to mention putting her kids at risk, a fearful Farrow dumped Allen in his dressing room. (“He was surprised and angry.”) But because she didn’t ask him to return the key to her apartment (which he wanted so he could show up whenever he desired) he kept coming over unannounced and uninvited “every single day”. Despite “politely ignor[ing] each other” during his unwelcome visits, she broke down and took him back.
13. He hated his own biological child.
After the birth of his son, Allen was more interested in pursuing a terrified Dylan than bonding with the boy he personally named after the famous ballplayer Satchel Paige. Farrow recalls, “He rarely came in to see me and he hardly glanced at the new baby. He never held or touched him, and he didn’t seem to like me nursing him. He seemed stern – or was it angry? It made me cry.” Allen also referred to him as “the little bastard” and “the completely superfluous little bastard”, awful comments made “[n]ot entirely in jest”. Ultimately, Farrow “realized that he was not withholding his affection: it simply did not exist for Satchel, or Moses, or any of the other children.”
No wonder the kid changed his name to Ronan.
14. He once thought he had the AIDS virus.
In the fall of 1991, a greatly fatigued Allen was readying his next film, Husbands And Wives, under less than ideal physical conditions. Uncertain about what was ailing him he told a perplexed Farrow he needed to get an HIV test. Why, she wondered. “He answered that there was a long incubation period for HIV.” After convincing the neurotic filmmaker to get the damn test already Allen was relieved when it came back negative. Unless he was secretly cheating during their dozen years together (Farrow was worried that an unnamed actress was getting a little too cozy with him on sets in the mid-to-late 80s), he was ultimately obsessing over nothing.
15. Dylan was traumatized by his constant attention.
“He whispered her awake, he caressed her, and entwined his body around her as she watched television, as she played on the floor, as she ate, as she slept.” Farrow writes that “there was a wooing quality to his approaches: a neediness, an aggressive intensity that was relentless and overpowering.” Young Dylan was so repulsed by him that whenever she heard “the sound of the doorbell and the slam of the front door”, she looked for any place to hide as he entered Farrow’s apartment. On three separate occasions, the bathroom became her sanctuary. (She once locked herself in there for four straight hours.) Later, she developed headaches and stomach aches from all the stress of his pursuits. After he molested her in August 1992, she started wetting the bed again, “something she hadn’t done since she was three years old.”
When he wasn’t around, she “was a bright, chatty little girl, brimming with opinions and observations.” But when he was constantly hounding her, “she withdrew, her talk became sketchy and hard to follow, and instead of answering his questions, she looked around the room.” She tried imitating animals, singing, baby talk, “anything to deflect his attentions; and this only made him more insistent.”
When he was putting her to bed one night he wouldn’t let her be until she said “good night”. As she avoided his gaze, “he pinned her shoulders to the bed and demanded a response while her head thrashed back and forth.” Farrow ultimately pulled him away.
On another occasion, while they were in bed together “he had been wrapped around her like a python in Jockey underpants.” As Farrow pulled Dylan away from his relentless grasp he called his girlfriend a “spoilsport” in an explosion of anger, a typical Allen response.
It was only after several therapy sessions that Allen appeared to have stopped “putting his hands under Dylan’s covers…putting his face in her lap…the constant caressing” and having her suck his thumb. (Whenever Farrow caught him doing the latter she yelled at him to stop.) Unfortunately, his indecent behaviour would continue.
At the family’s summer retreat in Massachusetts, Allen decided to put suntan lotion on his naked 5-year-old daughter while she was playing with her cousin, Farrow’s sister’s two-year-old daughter, who was also nude. According to Tisa Farrow (Mia’s aforementioned sibling), “It was buggy and sunny. Woody started rubbing some sunscreen on Dylan’s shoulders. Then he got to her bottom, and there he took his time. It was a momentary thing, but it was so glaringly inappropriate. Just not something a grown man does to a child…This was such a classic example of ‘bad touching’.” Their mother, actress Maureen O’Sullivan, was also disturbed by Allen’s actions.
16. He tried to have inappropriate sex chats with Farrow’s teenage daughter Daisy.
When she was between the ages of 14 and 17, “Woody had tried to initiate four intimate conversations with her. He had asked her how old her friends were when they began doing things with boys, and how old she was when she started fooling around, and what sorts of things she’d done.” He once told Farrow’s daughter, “Tell me everything you’ve done that you wouldn’t tell your mother. I promise I won’t tell her.” Needless to say, Daisy “was uncomfortable with his line of questioning”, especially since “Woody had never talked to Daisy privately before”. “She didn’t have anything to tell him anyway, and she didn’t stick around.”
17. He was caught on four different occasions in compromising positions with Soon-Yi.
Daughter Lark and her boyfriend Jesse were in a limousine with Allen and Soon-Yi one summer day. As he awoke from a nap, Jesse “saw Woody place his hand on Soon-Yi’s thigh and caress it.”
Fletcher walked in on Allen and Soon-Yi in the middle of something (Farrow doesn’t offer specifics) as he “walked into the laundry room” in their building. (“…Woody had spun away from Soon-Yi.”)
Another time, Moses went over to sit on the family sofa with Allen and Soon-Yi to watch a sports event on TV. As Woody made room for him, “he dipped his head for a very long second and looked between Soon-Yi’s bare legs.” She was wearing a mini-skirt.
Dylan and Satchel were watching TV in Allen’s apartment when the filmmaker and Soon-Yi “disappeared”. Dylan found them “out on the terrace with their arms around each other.” When the little girl tried to get their attention, “they told her to ‘go away,’ they wanted ‘a little private time.'” Instead of listening, “she hid on the staircase next to the bedroom door, facing the glass doors to the terrace.” As they left the terrace for the bedroom (“the door was left partially open”), Dylan observed them having intercourse. “…he was putting his penis into Soon-Yi’s vagina,” she said later.
18. He took advantage of a troubled, inexperienced Soon-Yi.
Allen’s wrongful relationship with Farrow’s teenage daughter began during her last year of high school. (He actually attended her graduation, an unexpected gesture on his part. It was the only one he showed up for.) According to Farrow, “Soon-Yi was quiet, reserved, and cautious.” Her tutor of six years (grades 6-12), Dr. Audrey Sieger, “whose doctorate is in learning and reading disabilities”, describes her as “a very typical learning-disabled kid, very socially inappropriate, very, very naïve…She has trouble understanding language on an inferential level. She’s very literal and flat in how she interprets what she sees and how she interprets things socially. She misinterprets situations…”
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, March 19, 2014