Mia Farrow's attorney proposed a "down and dirty" $5 million payment from Woody Allen in return for dropping charges that the filmmaker molested their 7-year-old adopted daughter, a lawyer testified Friday.
The deal was laid out at an August 1992 meeting, shortly after Farrow made the abuse allegations against Allen, her former lover and director of 12 years, said Irwin Tanenbaum, one of Allen's attorneys. The couple split up last year after Farrow learned Allen was having an affair with Soon-Yi Previn, 22, whom Farrow adopted with her former husband Andre Previn.Tanenbaum testified in the bitter custody fight between Allen and Farrow over their adopted children, Moses, 15, and Dylan, and their biological son, Satchel, 5. Farrow has accused Allen of molesting Dylan, a charge Allen has denied.
Tanenbaum said two attorneys attended the meeting on Farrow's behalf: Alan Dershowitz and David Levitt.
"Mr. Levitt said the charges could be made to go away," Tanenbaum said. He said Levitt told him, "We can work out a deal that would involve $7 million or $8 million."
At some point, Dershowitz asked, "Couldn't we do a down and dirty settlement for $5 million?" Tanenbaum testified. Tanenbaum said he rejected the deal and walked out.
Allen's trial attorney, Elkan Abramowitz, portrayed the proposal as extortion.
Dershowitz, reached at his home Friday, said Abramowitz's extortion allegation was "totally false." He said the only money discussed was a sum to be banked for the children's use.
"We believe the meeting was a setup," Dershowitz said. "They hoped for a shakedown, but none happened, and their setup attempt failed."
Under cross-examination by Farrow's lawyer, Eleanor Alter, Tanenbaum acknowledged the proposal included money for Farrow's future movie projects as well as the children's medical and education costs.