A former model revealed she was in an eight-year relationship with Woody Allen that started when she was just 16, and says the famed director would arrange marijuana-fueled threesomes with his future wife Mia Farrow.
But Babi Christina Engelhardt tells the Hollywood Reporter she has “no regrets” about her May-December romance.
Engelhardt was a teenager when she spotted the director, then 41, dining in the famous Upper East Side restaurant Elaine’s in 1976.
She dropped him a note containing her phone number and a cheeky message, and soon, she and Allen struck up a romance; he did not ask her age, she told the Hollywood Reporter, though she did tell him she was still in high school.
She claims their relationship was intimate for two months before she turned 17, the legal age of consent in New York.
“I was a pleaser, agreeable. Knowing he was a director, I didn’t argue. I was coming from a place of devotion,” Engelhardt, now 59, told THR of their relationship.
Engelhardt said she was fine with Allen bringing other women into the bedroom with them, but nearly ended the relationship when he eagerly announced, four years in, that he was dating the actress Mia Farrow – and wanted Engelhardt to meet her.
“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 I didn’t want to be there at all, and yet I couldn’t find the courage to get up and leave,” she wrote in one of two unpublished memoirs obtained by THR. “Looking back now, that’s exactly what I needed, but back then, the idea of not having Woody in my life at all terrified me.”
She said Allen brought Farrow over a “handful” of times to have threesomes and smoke weed together, and eventually she came to like the “Rosemary’s Baby” star.
“She was beautiful and sweet, he was charming and alluring, and I was sexy and becoming more and more sophisticated in this game,” she wrote. “It wasn’t until after it was done when I really had time to think of how twisted it was when we were together … and how I was little more than a plaything.”
Engelhardt said she felt bad for Farrow when news broke that Allen was dating the actress’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn.
The couple – who started dating when Previn was in her early 20s and Allen was in his late 50s – have been married since 1997.
Representatives for Farrow and Allen did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Engelhardt’s accusations Monday.
The former model eventually became disillusioned with the relationship and left New York after realizing she was not as special to Allen as she had hoped.
“I thought I was special, and then I realized he’s a big person and he’s got a big life – I’m in his life,” she said.
Though Engelhardt is not thought to be the only muse behind Allen’s classic film “Manhattan” (she believes the teenage character in the film who sleeps with a much-older director is a composite of several women), she said it made her cry to see her relationship with Allen portrayed as nothing more than a fling.
Still, she says that even in a post #MeToo world (Allen was accused of molesting his daughter Dylan when she was a child; he has denied all allegations), Engelhardt says she feels no ill will toward him.
“What made me speak is I thought I could provide a perspective. I’m not attacking Woody,” she said. “This is not ‘bring down this man.’ I’m talking about my love story. This made me who I am. I have no regrets.”
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