After serious allegations of sexual child abuse, and court determination of poor judgment, how could would anyone let Woody Allen adopt children? That’s one question that has never even been asked–not to mention answered–in the recent maelstrom over Woody Allen’s personal behavior.
The resurrection of child abuse charges—personal charges, not legal ones—against Woody Allen began with the special award presented by a gushing Diane Keaton at the Golden Globes. He’s also up for an Academy Award this year for his most recent film, Blue Jasmine.
This adulation inspired Dylan Farrow to write an open letter, published in The New York Times, to speak out for the first time about her abuse by him and how it—and the lack of repercussions—led to misery in her life for years. That letter and subsequent allegations have threatened to overload the Internet over the last few days. Positions taken long ago—“I’m innocent” says Allen—have only solidified. But lives have remain hugely affected. He has never had contact with his now-grown son with Mia Farrow, for example.
Allen supporters assert that he was found innocent 20 years ago, but charges were never brought, not because the prosecutor Frank Maco thought they weren’t merited, but because he thought bringing them would be additionally harmful to the young Dylan Farrow. He says he suspected that the abuse did in fact occur.
This was happening at the very same time that Allen had started a love affair with Soon Yi Previn the teen-age daughter of Mia Farrow—who is Dylan’s mother and the mother of Satchel, a biological child with Allen.
An awful situation all around. Woody Allen brought suit to have improved visitation with Satchel, Dylan, and another child of Farrow’s, Moses. The court’s decision wades through this creepy morasse, including naked pictures he’d taken of Soon Yi and were displayed on his mantle. He called them “erotic, and not pornographic.” “We have viewed the photographs,” read the decision, “and do not share Mr. Allen’s characterization of them. We find the fact that Mr. Allen took them at a time he was formally assuming legal responsibility of two of Ms. Previn’s siblings totally unacceptable.”
They found him, “to place inappropriate emphasis on his own wants and needs and to minimize and even ignore those of his children.” It was Allen’s affair with Soon Yi that led to Farrow’s break up with him, at the very time she was pregnant with their son Satchel.
Truly, you could not make this up.
Which brings me back to the question no one has ever asked.
Why would anyone let a man with judgment like this adopt more children?
So what if Allen married Soon Yi, who is 35 years his junior. Together they adopted two daughters, Bechet Dumaine and Manzie Tio–one from Texas, one from China–who are now young teen-agers.
Allen is 78. He says he will be making a statement soon.
But we pretty much know what that statement will say. It would be more enlightening to have a statement from the folks who oversaw the adoption of his two daughters.