Most shocking claims from Woody Allen’s memoir
No better time for Woody Allen's black-listed memoir to drop.
#MeToo? Who cares? We're all about to die any minute now, and death is the only thing Allen has ever really cared about. It's a leitmotif through his work, and this memoir is the disgraced 84-year-old director's attempt to salvage his legacy.
Alas: Allen, unwittingly, has come to bury it.
This aptly self-described "Roach in Winter" has produced one of the most tone-deaf, disgusting, bitter, self-pitying, horrifically un-put-downable memoirs since Mein Kampf.
Where to begin? He all but accuses ex Mia Farrow of having an incestuous relationship with their son Ronan. He takes note of Mia's "unnatural closeness with her son Fletcher," but never thinks to alert anyone, let alone call child services. Does he later hear stories of Mia violently abusing her children? Yes, and it's a real shame. Can you believe Mia had Ronan undergo painful surgery, which included breaking his legs, just to give him a little more height, "while I'm the one the judge sticks with a monitor"?
When Soon-Yi confides how much abuse she's suffering, Allen replies, "When Mia tries to hit you, duck."
Both Farrow and Allen are problematic people and probably terrible parents. But of the two, it's Allen who moves through life with the detachment of a psychopath.
Did he try to take a 16-year-old Mariel Hemingway to Paris, when he was directing her in Manhattan and in a position of power? Sure, but he "merely invited her." And yes, he also dated a very young actress named Stacey, who still lived with her parents and was the basis for Hemingway's character - romantically involved with Allen's 42-year-old character - but that was a "May-December" thing.
Before Mia, Allen famously dated Diane Keaton - then, not so famously, Keaton's sister Robin, then Keaton's other sister Dory.
Nothing to see here.
He had a perfect childhood, he says, which accounts for his inability to spot warning signs in relationships - like when Farrow purchased a summer home in Connecticut, which he calls Red Flag Number One. (All those years in therapy did nothing to hone his E.Q., apparently).
"A very convenient and pleasant arrangement," is how he describes his 13-years-long relationship with Farrow, one of the most celebrated of the late 20th century. As for those nude Polaroids of Soon-Yi that Allen left out on his mantel, discovered by Farrow - he's so hapless that he couldn't even work the camera! Soon-Yi was the one responsible for that little fiasco.
And at the height of his legal battle for the beloved daughter he was accused of molesting, Allen writes that losing custody wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to him.
A fatal brain tumour, on the other hand …
"I wasn't lying," he writes.
Allen's go-to defence throughout this book is that he was "naive." A born-and-bred New Yorker, a prodigy who went on to work in Hollywood with complete autonomy for decades, a media-savvy navigator of his own image, just cannot believe how he got here. He's denied every allegation Farrow levelled against him, but here concedes that yes, just once, he "might" have put his head on 7-year-old Dylan's lap, "for a moment."
Woody Allen has had his say. So has Hollywood, streaming services, the publishing industry, multiple actors who refuse to work with him, and the public at large.
We will never know what really happened with Dylan Farrow, but it's safe to say that a middle-aged man who groomed his girlfriend's teenage daughter and now boasts of "liberating" her like Nazi-occupied France is too creepy for polite society.
And with that, Woody Allen goes the way of Harvey Weinstein - not, Allen's sure to say, that Harvey ever produced a movie of his. Allen, after all, has standards.
This story originally appeared on the New York Post and is republished here with permission.
Originally published as Most shocking claims from Woody Allen's memoir