Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter
Woody Allen is once again facing accusations of sexual misconduct with minors.
The director’s reputation came under fire on Monday when the Hollywood Reporter published a lengthy exposé on Allen’s alleged eight-year relationship with a then-16-year-old Babi Christina Engelhardt.
According to Engelhardt, they embarked on their illicit romance in October 1976, after briefly meeting at a New York City restaurant. She revealed that it wasn’t Allen who made the first move, but herself, a brazen young teen. In an attempt to get his attention, Babi wrote her number on a napkin and joked, “Since you’ve signed enough autographs, here’s mine!”
Her bold move achieved the intended goal, and she claimed that they soon met at his penthouse on Fifth Avenue, where they would reportedly engage in sexual activities for the next eight-years. For the first three or so months that they began their affair, Babi was still 16, until she reached New York’s legal age of 17 in December.
Over the course of their relationship, she and Woody allegedly met “on more than 100 subsequent occasions”, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Babi alleges he would eventually introduce “two other ‘beautiful young ladies’ for threesomes.” While she had reportedly “experimented with bisexuality” prior to her relationship with Woody, she said with him it was “interesting—a ’70s exploration.”
Then, four years into their affair, he reportedly introduced her to his girlfriend at the time, Mia Farrow, much to the dismay of Engelhardt, who thought she was his girlfriend. “I felt sick. I didn’t want to be there at all, and yet I couldn’t find the courage to get up and leave. To leave would mean an end to all of this,” Babi wrote in an unpublished manuscript.
However, Babi eventually got over the feelings of “jealously” to find that she enjoyed their alleged threesomes. She claims she and Mia bonded over their shared interest in astrology. It was only after they finished the alleged act that Engelhardt understood she was “little more than a plaything.”
Moreover, Engelhardt said she looked at Woody and Mia in a “mother-father” way. She explained to the Hollywood Reporter, “To me, that whole relationship was very Freudian: how I admired them, how he’d already broken me in, how I let that be all right.”
Years later, the aspiring actress left New York to work for director Federico Fellini, thus ending their alleged affair.
While their rumored, long relationship ended amicably, Babi is upset to feel that Woody saw their alleged tryst as “just a fling,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. She came to this conclusion by watching Allen’s 1979 film Manhattan, which depicts a young teen engaging in a sexual relationship with an older man. “How could he deconstruct my personality and our life together as if it were just some fictional creation for art house fatheads to pore over?” she questioned in the unpublished manuscript.
Nonetheless, Engelhardt insists she holds no ill will towards the now-disgraced director. She told THR, “This is not ‘bring down this man.’ I’m talking about my love story. This made me who I am. I have no regrets.”
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
That being said, Babi said she is a different person now and wouldn’t consider reigniting their romance, even after Woody told her in 2001 that he would like her to meet his wife Soon-Yi Previn. “I already had children then,” she explained. “I was like — not that I’ve gone square, but my priorities were different. I just wanted to stay away from that.”
Mia Farrow and Woody Allen declined to comment on the story.
Allen has been accused of sexual misconduct by his daughter Dylan Farrow. In an explosive open letter published in the New York Times, Dylan detailed her father’s alleged abuse.
Woody denies all allegations of sexual assault and abuse and was never charged.
The director’s marriage is also a source of controversy, since his wife is the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow. Their romance began when Allen and Farrow were still together in 1992, however, upon finding out about the relationship, Mia left him.
E! News has reached out to reps for Allen and Farrow for comment.
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