Often one to shy away from interviews, Woody Allen is finally opening up about his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, and the sexual-abuse allegations against him made by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow.
In a new interview with NPR, per Vanity Fair, Allen gets candid about his relationship with his wife, who also happens to be Mia Farrow's adopted daughter. (Allen and Farrow were in a serious relationship at the time.).
"I started the relationship with [Previn] and I thought it would just be a fling," the filmmaker tells NPR's Sam Fragoso. "It wouldn't be serious, but it had a life of its own. And I never thought it would be anything more. Then we started going together, then we started living together, and we were enjoying it."
Although Allen is 35 years Previn's senior, he explains that the dramatic age difference was irrelevant. "And the age difference didn't seem to matter," he adds. "It seemed to work in our favor actually."
REX USA/Keith Butler
In fact, the famed writer and director tells Fragoso that their relationship took on a paternal quality, as he was able to teach her things while she kept him young with her energy.
"She enjoyed being introduced to many, many things that I knew from experience, and I enjoyed showing her those things," he explains. "I'm 35 years older, and somehow, through no fault of mine or hers, the dynamic worked. I was paternal. She responded to someone paternal. I liked her youth and energy. She deferred to me, and I was happy to give her an enormous amount of decision making just as a gift and let her take charge of so many things."
Describing his relationship as "paternal" might seem like he's flip-flopping, as both Previn and Allen previously told reporters in the 1990s that their relationship is anything but fatherly.
"To think that Woody was in any way a father or stepfather to me is laughable," Previn told Time magazine.
"She's probably more mature than I am," Allen said in a separate interview.
During the interview, Allen was also willing to discuss the sexual-abuse allegations, which resurfaced after Dylan penned an open letter to the New York Times and detailed supposed instances when Allen took her to their house's attic and sexually assaulted her when she was 7 years old. Although the initial claims from 1992 were investigated, charges weren't pursued because Dylan was said to be "too fragile."
Allen consistently has denied the allegations, also penning a New York Times op-ed to explain his side of the story.
"Of course I did not molest Dylan," he wrote in response to Dylan's letter. "The self-serving transparency of her malevolence seemed so obvious I didn't even hire a lawyer to defend myself. It was my show business attorney who told me she was bringing the accusation to the police and I would need a criminal lawyer."
He continued, "I naïvely thought the accusation would be dismissed out of hand because of course, I hadn't molested Dylan and any rational person would see the ploy for what it was. Common sense would prevail. After all, I was a 56-year-old man who had never before (or after) been accused of child molestation."
Fragoso asked Allen whether or not the scandal has affected his movies' viewership.
"I would say no. I always had a small audience. People did not come in great abundance and they still don't, and I've maintained the same audience over the years," he tells NPR.