In the simplest terms, Woody Allen is a man who had an affair with a 21-year-old woman, who any rational person would consider to be his stepdaughter. The affair broke up his relationship with her adoptive mother, caused a media frenzy, and then, he married her. Twenty-three years later, Allen and Soon-Yi Previn are still together and they have two daughters of their own.
As a man shrouded in controversy and accused of molesting his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow when she was seven years old (which he denies), Allen rarely gives interviews. But with his new movie "The Irrational Man" currently in theaters -- the 79-year-old writer and director decided it was time to open up to NPR, and throughly creep us out in the process.
Allen spoke of his relationship with Previn, which began in 1992, while he was still dating her mother Mia Farrow, with whom he has one biological child and jointly adopted two other children (Farrow adopted several other children including Previn on her own).
“I started the relationship with [Previn] and I thought it would just be a fling,” Allen told NPR's Sam Fragoso, adding that their relationship took on a life of its own. "And the age difference didn’t seem to matter. It seemed to work in our favor actually.“
Allen went on to say that their 35-year age difference really works for them because he's "paternal."
"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," he said.
You all read that right? Paternal, as in fatherly. As in gross in this context.
And that's not what Previn said back in 1992 when everyone was first freaking out about her and Allen's relationship. In fact, she told Time, “To think that Woody was in any way a father or stepfather to me is laughable.”
Fragoso didn't hold back and asked Allen if he thought the molestation allegations have affected how people approach his movies (he doesn't) and if he thinks he's a "good person."
"I would consider myself ... decent as I got older." Allen said. "When I was younger I was less sensitive, in my 20s. But as I got older and began to see how difficult life was for everybody, I had more compassion for other people. I tried to act nicer, more decent, more honorable. I couldn't always do it. When I was in my 20s, even in my early 30s, I didn't care about other people that much. I was selfish and I was ambitious and insensitive to the women that I dated. Not cruel or nasty, but not sufficiently sensitive."
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