Woody Allen addresses daughter Dylan's sexual abuse allegation in new interview: 'I ignore it'

Woody Allen addressed his marriage and public scrutiny in a new interview. (Photo: ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Woody Allen calls daughter Dylan Farrow’s accusation that he sexually abused her as a child “a false allegation but a great tabloid drama” in a new interview with the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

Renewed interest in Farrow’s long-standing claims has prompted public outcry, with Allen’s recent memoir being canceled by its original publisher after employees formed a protest. And many actors who have collaborated with the filmmaker has since distanced themselves — a move Allen suggests is “tactical” rather than moral.

‘Timothée told my sister [the film producer Letty Aronson] it was important for him to say what he did at the time because he was nominated for an Academy Award and he needed to steer clear of any association,” Allen tells the newspaper of actor Timothée Chalamet, who donated his salary from A Rainy Day in New York to Time’s Up. “It was a tactical thing.”

Despite the backlash, and Amazon Studio’s decision to pull the film from distribution, A Rainy Day in New York has enjoyed some global box office success. But Allen says he’s not fazed by that, or the controversy surrounding him.

“I don’t feel vindicated because that is to imply I was concerned and — I don’t wish to seem callous — but I am not,” he says. “Of course I am aware I am the subject of gossip and scandal, but I cannot let it bother me. I live my life. I work. I play jazz. I watch sports. I see my friends. I don’t look up and I don’t read anything.”

Allen says his relationship with wife Soon-Yi Previn (pictured in 2015) "didn't make sense" when it began. (Photo: REUTERS/Regis Duvignau)

He adds that he chooses to avoid the headlines and focus on his trusted inner circle.

“Even if Dylan [whose mother is Allen’s ex, Mia Farrow] was to come out and say she made the whole thing up and was sorry, some people would still believe the story,” he explains. “So I ignore it. I work. I carry on. I surround myself with people I’ve known for a long time, people who know the truth.”

The 84-year-old also addresses his marriage to Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn in the interview. The couple have been married since 1997, about five years after their affair became a public scandal. They now have two adopted daughters of their own, both in their early 20s. (“Nobody just lets you adopt kids,” Allen notes, further refuting Dylan’s allegations.)

“I admit, it didn’t make sense when our relationship started,” he says of his 22-year marriage. “On the surface we looked like an irrational match. I was much older and she was an adopted kid.

“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.”

Despite being unsatisfied with his body of work and ill at ease with the current coronavirus lockdowns (“everything is shut and there is an atmosphere of fear on the streets,” he complains), Allen says he’s found happiness — sort of.

“I am happy in my marriage. I am happy with my family but you can never be happy on this planet. We are dumped into a bad situation. Human existence is precarious, terrifying and pointless.”

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