Woody Allen, 87, leaves Venice Film Festival alongside his wife Soon-Yi Previn, 52, – who is his ex-girlfriend’s adopted daughter – and their children after decrying cancel culture and being booed at his new film screening
Controversial director Woody Allen was seen leaving Venice on Wednesday alongside his family after attending the 80th Venice International Film Festival.
The film maker, 87, walked along the dock to their waiting water taxi with help from his wife Soon-Yi Previn, 52.
He then climbed into the boat aided by two men, where he was joined by the couple’s adopted daughters Manzie Tio, 23, and Bechet, 24.
Woody looked smart in a white shirt and a pair of belted beige chinos, under a checked blazer, while hiding under a brown hat.
Soon-Yi coordinated with her husband in a beige top and matching hat, teamed with pair of orange shorts and sunglasses.
The couple’s relationship has been mired by controversy as Soon-Yi is the adopted daughter of Woody’s ex-girlfriend Mia Farrow.
Mia and Woody began dating in 1979, but 13 years later their relationship ended when Woody, then 55, and Soon-Yi, then 21, were caught having an affair.
Woody and his family were at Venice Film Festival for the premiere and first official screening of his film Coup De Chance.
However, the event overshadowed by booing from those opposed to his presence over allegations that he sexually assaulted his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, which he vehemently denies.
The film is unlikely to be screened in the US after Hollywood cut ties with him following his daughter’s allegations.
But in Europe – much like disgraced Roman Polanski – he is still working and on Monday night he was given a three-minute standing ovation for his new French-language film.
The reception was not universal as a group of protesters voiced their anger at Woody’s presence in Venice, marching past and chanting in Italian: ‘We are the loud and fierce shout of all the bodies that no longer have a voice.’
Ahead of the premiere, Woody told a press conference he felt he had had a very lucky life, and was fortunate to be healthy and able to continue making films.
But, speaking to Variety, the veteran director became ‘gloomy’, the journalist reported, when asked about the allegations made by his daughter, now 38.
Dylan claims that Woody touched her inappropriately in August 1992, when she was seven.
She said he abused her in an attic of the Connecticut home where she lived with her mother Mia Farrow and siblings, touching her while she played with a toy train.
The allegations were investigated, and no charges ever brought.
In 2014, the story resurfaced when Dylan Farrow spoke to New York Times columnist Nick Kristof.
Their brother Moses Farrow, however, has defended their father and accused Mia of coaching Dylan to accuse Woody, in anger at their divorce.
In 2018, Dylan spoke to CBS News, and Woody began to pay a professional price for the accusations.
He has always denied abusing her, and on Monday reiterated his denial.
‘The situation has been investigated by two people, two major bodies, not people, but two major investigative bodies.
‘And both, after long detailed investigations, concluded there was no merit to these charges, that, you know, is exactly as I wrote in my book, ‘Apropos of Nothing.’ There was nothing to it.
‘The fact that it lingers on always makes me think that maybe people like the idea that it lingers on. You know, maybe there’s something appealing to people. But why? Why?
‘I don’t know what you can do besides having it investigated, which they did so meticulously. One was less than a year and the other one was many months.
‘And they spoke to everybody concerned and, you know, both came to the exact same conclusion.’
Woody said he had not seen Dylan or Ronan in years, but would not say no to meeting them, saying: ‘Always willing to but no, no….’
Dylan’s allegations have divided Hollywood: actors including Kate Winslet, Greta Gerwig, Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Hall, Colin Firth, Natalie Portman and Mira Sorvino have all said they regret working with him.
Cate said she did not agree with social media being ‘judge and jury’, but said that if there was cause for the investigations to be reopened, she would support that.
Woody filed a $68 million lawsuit against Amazon Studios in 2019 after they pulled out of a deal to distribute his film A Rainy Day In New York: the case was settled out of court.
His last film, Rifkin’s Festival, only showed in 25 cinemas across the United States, but Woody shrugged off the idea of being ‘cancelled’, calling the concept ‘silly’.
‘I feel if you’re going to be canceled, this is the culture to be canceled by,’ he told Variety.
‘I just find that all so silly. I don’t think about it. I don’t know what it means to be canceled. I know that over the years everything has been the same for me. I make my movies.
‘What has changed is the presentation of the films. You know, I work and it’s the same routine for me. I write the script, raise the money, make the film, shoot it, edit it, it comes out.
‘The difference is not from cancel culture. The difference is the way they present the films. It’s that that’s the big change.’
Woody also said some of the effects of the #MeToo movement were ‘silly’.
‘I think any movement where there’s actual benefit, where it does something positive, let’s say for women, is a good thing,’ he said.
‘When it becomes silly, it’s silly. I read instances where it’s very beneficial, where the situation has been very beneficial for women, and that’s good. When I read of some instances in a story in the paper where it’s silly, then it’s foolish.’
Asked what he meant by ‘silly’, Woody replied: ‘It’s silly, you know, when it’s not really a feminist issue or an issue of unfairness to women.
‘When it’s being too extreme in trying to make it into an issue when, in fact, most people would not regard it as any kind of offensive situation.’
Woody has previously suggested Coup de Chance might be his final movie.
However, on Monday he said he had a good idea for a story based in his native New York and would make it if he could find a backer willing to accept his terms – not to read the script or to know whom he had cast.
‘If some foolish person agrees to that, then I will make the film in New York,’ he said.