• Wed, Feb 5 - 9:34 am ET

Woody Allen’s 17-Year-Old Ex-Girlfriend Says He Has No Pattern Of Sleeping With Underage Girls, Manages To Keep A Straight Face

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Things aren’t looking good for Woody Allen these days–the allegations of abuse that have been thrown at him over the past 20 years are having a public resurgence, and they’re carrying more weight than the first time around. It seems like every day, a new revelation about Allen’s comportment comes out that makes it harder and harder to doubt Allen’s daughter Dylan Farrow’s allegations, although deluded people certainly continue to doubt. We can add a new voice to the chorus of Allen-defenders: his former girlfriend, Stacey Nelkin. Unfortunately for Allen (and more unfortunately for Nelkin), this defense does more harm to his reputation than exonerate him, and it’s infuriating that this will be interpreted as a valid defense.

Speaking on Piers Morgan‘s show, Nelkin “insisted her own relationship with Allen was entirely consensual and not corrupt in the least.” This seems suspect given that Nelkin was 17 to Allen’s 42. To be clear–this wasn’t illegal–17 is the age of consent in New York. But I have trouble believing that Allen’s 35 year seniority wasn’t an unequal power advantage, and that there exists a single 17-year-old on earth who has the wherewithal to make a decision like that for herself when faced with an older, famous, powerful man.

Nelkin parroted the “woman scorned” theory that we’ve been hearing so much of, alleging that Dylan Farrows allegations were planted by Mia Farrow in order to get back at Allen. Nelkin revealed that she was even asked to testify against Allen in the original court proceedings, but refused:

“[They] asked if I would testify and admit that I was 15 when we dated, and I said ‘no,’ because I was not 15. I was 17, 18 and 19, and to me there’s a big distinction between that, and I think they were looking for the fact that, you know, 15 is jail bait. Seventeen is a very different story. I would not go along with that, so I think she was trying to create a pattern of, this is a man who looks for young girls and seduces them unwittingly and that’s not true. I was very, very much willing to be dating him, I was thrilled.”

It’s hard not to react to this on a visceral level, because “seventeen is a very different story” is the type of thing I said to my friends when I thought I had a real chance at seducing a history teacher at my high school. Mia Farrow didn’t need to create any pattern–it’s there. In fact, Stephen Marche wrote an especially salient piece on Esquire about the pattern of inappropriate relationships and uncomfortable age differences in Allen’s movies, in which the characters involved always seem to be stand-ins for Allen himself. Given the autobiographical nature of Allen’s movies, it’s hard to separate his characters from his real-life persona, and Allen made no effort to do so. It’s fair to look at his characters as extensions of himself.

Despite the increasingly damning evidence against Allen, his defenders will continue to put Dylan and Mia on trial (The Daily Beast’s embarrassing-for-humanity defense by Bob Weide details Mia’s sex life, astutely called scrutiny-by-proxy for 7-year-old Dylan by Slate’s Jessica Winter). Defenders of Allen are beginning to sound increasingly unhinged, and are clinging to some sort of emotional attachment that makes it painful to watch a hero fall. But when Piers Morgan trots out Allen’s teenaged girlfriend as a way to defend Allen, it speaks more to his guilt than to anything else.

Photo: Getty Images

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  • Kaitlin Reilly

    This makes me sick. I know that there are different maturity levels for 17-year-olds, but I’m not sure how a high school junior or senior could date a 42-year-old and consider their relationship appropriate. It’s not even an age DIFFERENCE thing, it’s a mental and emotional development thing. And quite frankly, regardless of the age of consent, I think that any adult man looking to knowingly date a 17-year-old is out of line.

  • http://ThePeppercat.com/ Candace

    I agree, and that’s why I never understood why everyone just thought the Courtney Stodden thing was *SO hilarious*

  • CMJ

    I like how she ascertains that 15…that’s jailbait…..but 17, oh 17, is ADULT. Fuck.

  • Lindsey Conklin

    yeah, to me this makes me believe the allegations even more because it does show a pattern.

    • TimMellon

      Are you two married?

  • s.park

    “It’s fair to look at his characters as extensions of himself” …no?

  • Lillian

    There are three categories of what we tend to call pedophilia. Pedophilia is specifically the sexual attraction to children who have not entered puberty. Hebephilia is the sexual attraction to children who have just begun puberty, more specifically, preteens. Ebephilia is the sexual attraction to teenagers. While I would argue that Woody Allen has a predilection for teen girls, I think it’s a stretch to go from that to pedophilia. There’s a big difference between a seven and seventeen year old.

    • Rachel

      I’m glad there’s someone else out there who is able to explain this one. I’m constantly having to butt in and clarify what the word “pedophilia” actually is.

    • Lillian

      Me too! Having sex with teens (while often illegal and creepy) is not pedophilia. Which is why it’s frustrating that this article claims that him sleeping with a seventeen year old speaks to some sort of pattern of him sleeping with underage girls. (I mean, I could definitely see a pattern of ebephilia here, but a seven year old would seem uncharacteristic for Woody Allen. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, it just doesn’t fall into what seems to be his established pattern.)

    • Sophie

      It absolutely CAN be an indication of sleeping with underage girls, as it’s about power, and not just sexual preference. There are sexual abusers of children who cross over from teens to children, and that’s a sad reality. They differ from the strict pedophile, but they do exist, and sometimes it’s about a ‘particular’ child, in that they don’t normally go for very young children, but one child ‘gets’ to them, and they almost believe they’re in love.

      It’s very possible that Woody Allen has justified what he did somewhere in his mind, and has convinced himself that what he did was not actually abusive, because he ‘loved’ Dylan. After all, what he did with Soon Yi was highly abusive to his family, and extraordinarily abusive to his seven year old daughter Dylan (who had to somehow process that Daddy had married her big sister).

      Woody’s reaction and defence ” The heart wants what it wants”. That may be his defence of what he did with Dylan, but he knows society won’t accept it! The man has no boundaries whatsoever.

    • TimMellon

      Of course there’s a big difference and there’s no need to invent terms to describe any of this. A child looks like a child and unless you are mentally defective it’s obvious it’s a child. A young woman does not look like a child. The physical and mental maturity develops in tandem in the female.
      Shirley Temple died the other day. She met her first husband when she was 15 and married at 17. He was in his 20′s.
      These stories are common and I could list hundreds of them if I wanted to. Charlie Chaplin 50+ and Oona 17 etc All of this is perfectly normal. What’s abnormal are man hating feminists who created the “paedophilia” hysteria, child porn hysteria and these witch hunts.You only have to use a bit of common sense to know that people who want to have sex with a child are rare and more fit for a mental asylum.

    • Sophie

      Unfortunately you’re wrong. People who want to have sex with a child are not rare, and there are sexual predators who have sex with teenage girls who also groom, and have sex with children. There has been a lot of research done, and statistics gained, that prove that sexual predators don’t fall neatly into one ‘category’, and with the statistics being that one in four Western women being sexually molested in some way as a child, you really need to wake up!

    • ayK

      the jealousy toward young girls is disgusting!! Notice the young girls never complain??

    • Sophie

      You are incorrect in assuming that these definitions occur in such well-defined ‘boxes’. There exists a variety of sexual predators. Some are pure pedophiles who only find pre-pubescent children attractive, and who don’t cross over into younger or older teenagers, but there are many predators who do cross over age. That is because such predators are motivated by power and control, and not exclusively by sexual preference.

      You write the above as if the abuse occurs in neat categories, but that is simply not the case. There are men who groom young teenagers and older teenagers, through their position of power, who also groom pre-pubescent children. They are different from the classic pedophile, but they do exist.

      The point is that Woody Allen is clearly someone who engages in power based relationships, where he has the power. That doesn’t prove that he’s capable of what Dylan Farrow is accusing him of, but there’s certainly a pattern there that would indicate that it’s very possible,

      I am sorry, but his relationship with this then 17 year old, and especially his relationship with Soon Yi, do in fact provide a strong basis for assuming the possibility of what occurred with Dylan in the attic. Much more so than if Woody Allen were a man who had stuck to women appropriate for his age, who were also his equals. He did have such relationships, but it seems he had more than one other that involved this use of power. The whole two years he spent with Stacey, he never declared her his public girlfriend, and that is about power and status and not allowing someone an equal footing in your life. Not to mention, that it shows that even Woody knew it wasn’t really appropriate!

    • jay

      they’re not “predators” you close-minded bitch You’re describing sexual preferences…

  • gues

    Ew. What is wrong with this woman. How old is she now? A big difference between 17 and 15 is how children think of the teen years. Adults are supposed to have better understanding and perspective.

  • Robotic Arms Dealer

    Paul Walker is spinning in his grave!

  • Alexis

    The “scorned lover” defense is just so bizarre, too: as though Mia Farrow was so upset with Allen that she would go out of her way to completely destroy her own daughter’s psyche.

    • TimMellon

      Happens all the time during custody disputes although now no one is buying this horseshit anymore.
      Perhaps it was Mia’s brother who is a child molester and is now in prison who she was protecting that is if Dylan was molested at all which I doubt.
      Kill two birds with one stone. Get revenge on Allen for jilting her and save her brother.
      Soon-yi is the adopted daughter of Mia and her former husband Andre Previn.Farrow has always been demented and I guess in her mind her collection of kids were like her family and her current man, Woody, the daddy of them all even though he wanted nothing to do with them and never lived with them.So Soon-Yi is really just the adopted daughter of a former girlfriend and incidentally she was over 18 when Allen began going out with her.

    • Rachel

      I don’t even understand why you’re on this board…the truth of the matter is, Woody Allen will never be penalized for anything. His relationship with Soon Yi is perfectly legal and according to the law, there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him for anything involving Dylan. Allen will go on to be a loved and renowned filmmaker until the day he dies. Dylan and Mia will be known as “hysterical liars” until the day they die. Compared to the rest of society, it’s only a small group that believe Dylan and can only reprimand Allen through the written word.

    • Sophie

      So what? You have a hillbilly temperament, You can’t see that this is a highly incestuous atmosphere that Allen created, even if literal incest was not involved. How horrible for the seven year old Dylan Allen, to have to deal with her daddy marrying her sister!! Are you from some red-neck Kentucky town where inbreeding is common?

  • ted3553

    I am sadly shocked at how many people are defending what Woody Allen did and what Paul Walker did and anyone else who follows this pattern. Grasping at straws: he wasn’t technically a step father, she was 17, she lived on her own, she was mature, her parents were ok with it and on and on. No, No, No,No. that’s just off limits when you’re a grown man or woman. A teenager is simply someone you walk away from the way you should when you see a wedding band.

  • Steph

    *25 year seniority? (Not that it makes much difference)

  • RayneofCastamere

    For the sake of sanity, don’t read the comments in the Esquire piece. There’s one persistent commenter who, every time a molestation survivor empathizes with Dylan and mentions that they went through something similar, immediately butts in to accuse them of believing that every father or man in a similar position must be a rapist.

    If you don’t want your blood pressure to sky rocket, keep away from the comments.

  • Lex

    So, I’m a little confused… “Nelkin was 17 to Allen’s 42. To be clear–this wasn’t illegal–17 is the age of consent in New York. But I have trouble believing that Allen’s 35 year seniority wasn’t an unequal power advantage.” If he was 42 and she was 17, where is the “35 year seniority”. Math?

    You should probably educate yourself on a couple terms: Ageism, Alphamegamia, and Ephebophilia. They taught us about these in a women’s sexuality class at Smith.

    Further reading: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2012/09/stop_childhood_sexual_abuse_how_to_treat_pedophilia_.2.html

  • Eisenhower303

    42-17=25

    You fucking idiot

  • Rachel

    Blech. I was never, ever into older men. When I was 17, I wouldn’t even date a 20-year-old.

    Granted, my husband is 7 years my senior but we’re both in my thirties.

    That being said, this woman is delusional.

    • TimMellon

      You were apparently very immature for your age

    • Rachel

      I think I acted like an appropriate 17-year-old. Also, I *looked* very young; I was mature enough to understand that if an older guy was interested in me, there was problem something wrong with him.

    • Rachel

      So…I would have been a mature high school girl if I had dated older men? Not seeing your logic here. I think I was mature enough to understand that I was, in fact, not mature enough. I acted my age. I didn’t attempt to try and be more “mature” by doing things that were not necessarily age appropriate. Nice try, though.

  • TimMellon

    To be clear–this wasn’t illegal–17 is the age of consent in New York.

    Yes, you should be clear about that. NY has a high age of consent law and it’s generally 16. (15 in France). And what’s all of this retarded feminist babble about power blah blah blah We’re talking about sex here not something important. If the girl wasn’t shagging Allen she’d only be doing it with someone else. Like all females she was likely just using him for some gain.So much for power lol

    • Sophie

      You have entirely missed the point. It’s not about the ‘age of consent’. Sure, if the boyfriend is 19 or 20, then the literal age is possibility not such a big issue. But when your’e talking about a 17 year old and a man in his 40′s who is a major Hollywood star, then there is an enormous power imbalance.

      If you think that sex equals power for a young woman, then you don’t understand a single thing about women and female sexuality.

    • white_day_black_river

      But even if the boyfriend is 19 or 20, they might still be a (statutory) rapist, depending on the state. In a sense it doesn’t matter if the older partner is just a few years older if the child is unable to consent. It is odd that a middle-aged man having sex with a 17-year-old in New York is not a rapist, while the 18-year-old Californian who does the same, is… but at the same time, rape is rape and is objective, not subjective.

  • Sophie

    The joke about all of this, is that most 17 year old females- and even girls in their 20′s- tend to find men in their 40s physically repulsive, from a sexual point of view. It is the delusion of older men that they are somehow ‘sexy’ to young women, but in 99% of cases, a young woman would much prefer someone who is also young.
    When men have money and power, this can alter things, but in the case of Woody Allen, it’s only really screwy younger women that fall for him… Like Soon Yi and this nutty Stacey woman, who was no doubt even nuttier when she was 17. You can’t imagine a 17 or 19 year old who is really beautiful, and has high intelligence, and everything going for them, falling for Woody Allen. The man is a dweeb.

  • HE Pennypacker

    Powerful sexual predators – Hollywood is filled with them – Woody Allen, Terry Richardson, etc – and there will always be stars, such as Scarlett Johannson playing it down in the media to reap whatever reward they can get from doing so. Super disgusting.
    Particularly when it comes to children under 18 years. What a dirty business, but then again, I’ve unfortunately known plenty of my friends who were sexually molested as children and young teens. So sad – castrate them – they don’t deserve a libido.

  • Wannabevenus

    It’s hard to know the truth, of course…but I read Mia Farrow’s bio some years ago, and there had been a pattern of intense closeness from Woody towards Dylan from childhood. He was constantly overaffectionate in ways that made the child uncomfortable. They went to therapy and Woody was advised to back off and quit being so ‘intense’. It all sounded pretty inappropriate and creepy to me, for some man to be constantly physically affectionate to a child in the way that he was.