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Court Rejects Woody Allen’s Appeal in Custody Case

July 6, 1995 GMT

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ New York’s highest court on Wednesday handed Mia Farrow a victory in her bitter battle with Woody Allen over custody of their three children.

The Court of Appeals refused to hear Allen’s appeal of last year’s lower court ruling that questioned his judgment as a father and awarded custody of Moses, Dylan and Satchel to their mother.

``We’re pleased and not surprised,″ said Charles Stillman, Farrow’s lawyer.

Allen’s lawyer, Elkan Abramowitz, said he would appeal.

Farrow, 50, accused Allen, 59, of sexually abusing their 9-year-old daughter, Dylan.

The director denied the charges and the claim has never been proven.

The case was part of the fallout from Allen’s affair with Farrow’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn.

The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, in its May 1994 custody decision, criticized Allen for taking explicit photographs of Previn at a time when he had assumed a legal responsibility for two of her siblings.

Previn was 21 in 1992 when her mother discovered she was sleeping with Allen.

The photographs, coupled with his continuing relationship with Previn, showed ``a distinct absence of judgment,″ the court said.

Two of the five Appellate Division justices dissented, saying they believed Allen’s visitation rights with Satchel were too restrictive.

Allen’s lawyers had cited the dissent as a basis for an appeal. But the Court of Appeals, in refusing to take up the case, said it can only consider questions of law, not fact. The top court said it was a factual issue that was in dispute.

Farrow is continuing an effort in Surrogate Court to have Allen’s adoption of Moses and Dylan overturned, Stillman said. Satchel is the couple’s biological son.