Thursday, October 03, 2013

notes from a scandal

I was living in New York in 1992 when the Woody Allen/Mia Farrow scandal hit. Allegations of sexual abuse were hurled at Woody from Mia's West Side camp across Central Park and the reverberations played out across the endless 72 and larger-point headlines of the New York Post and  Daily News. And also at the movies.

Woody and Mia in one of their best collaborations, Broadway Danny Rose
Woody, Mia and Soon-Yi
New York had been Woody's town for ages. He glorified it in so many of his films, from Annie Hall to Manhattan to the great films he had been making with Farrow — Hannah and her Sisters, Broadway Danny Rose, Radio Days, and Husbands and Wives, which eerily echoed the implosion of the couple's relationship. Pre-scandal, whenever a new Woody Allen movie would come out the lines to see it would snake around the block. But that changed in 1992, and despite his recent success with Midnight in Paris, both the public and the press's relationships with Allen have never really completely recovered.

Today, Allen denies there ever even was any scandal:

Q. ... Do you think America is ready to forgive you for your past scandals?
A: "What was the scandal? I fell in love with this girl, married her. We have been married for almost 15 years now.
There was no scandal, but people refer to it all the time as a scandal and I kind of like that in way because when I go I would like to say I had one real juicy scandal in my life."
Reuters Canada

In the latest issue of Vanity Fair Mia Farrow and her children look back on that time with very different eyes. Although now all adults, each child seems to bear the scars of Allen's presence and then disappearance in their lives. Not to mention the alleged memories of child abuse that still haunt Mia and Woody's adopted daughter Dylan (now renamed Malone).

Amusingly, what is generating the most headlines from the article is a seemingly casual quote from Mia regarding Ronan (originally named Satchel), her biological son with Woody:

When asked point-blank if her biological son with Woody Allen, Ronan Farrow, may actually be the son of Frank Sinatra, Farrow answers, “Possibly.” No DNA tests have been done. When Orth asks Nancy Sinatra Jr. about Ronan’s being treated as if he were a member of her family, Sinatra answers in an e-mail, “He is a big part of us, and we are blessed to have him in our lives.”

Ronan, who is an extremely accomplished young man, may or not be the son of Woody Allen, but he certainly has a sense of humor, as he exhibited in a tweet regarding his parentage:

And last year he tweeted exactly how he felt about dear old dad Woody marrying his sister Soon-Yi:


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