Woody Allen Trying to Stop Mia Farrow From Testifying During American Apparel Trial

Posted on May 6, 2009

The legal battle between American Apparel and Woody Allen is continuing. American Apparel used Allen's photo in advertising without permission and Allen sued saying the ads hurt his reputation. Then American Apparel got nasty and said it would prove that Allen had no good reputation to sully because he had an affair and then married Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter that he raised with then-girlfriend Mia Farrow. When Mia found out about the creepy affair going on under her own roof, she kicked him out. American Apparel said it would put Mia and Soon-Yi on the stand to testify. Allen is trying to stop it.
Attorneys for Woody Allen on Monday asked a federal judge to block American Apparel Inc. from calling the director's wife and ex-girlfriend as witnesses in court this month, but the retailer said Tuesday it has no plans to do so. Allen sued the Los Angeles-based firm in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in March 2008 after it used his image, taken from the 1977 film Annie Hall, on billboards and its Web site without his permission. The filmmaker is seeking $10 million in damages.

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American Apparel has questioned the worth of his endorsement following the 1992 discovery of his romantic relationship with the then 22-year-old Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of actress Mia Farrow, his girlfriend at the time. Allen and Previn married in 1997.

The retailer's attorneys included Farrow and Previn on an initial disclosure list filed on April 10, court documents showed. The list, labeled "individuals who may be called to testify at trial," also included Allen's sister, the parents of American Apparel chief executive officer Dov Charney and Hustler publisher Larry Flynt. In a motion filed Monday, Allen's attorneys asked the judge to preclude the retailer from calling witnesses to testify on evidence concerning Allen's family life. His lawyers wrote, "...it is clear they are sought to be introduced for one purpose as part of a brutish attempt to smear and intimidate Mr. Allen."

Reached Tuesday, American Apparel lawyer Stuart Slotnick said the company has "no intention" of calling Farrow or Previn at trial. "They are not on our witness list," Slotnick said. "This case is centered around freedoms provided by the First Amendment. At trial, American Apparel will explain how the use of the images from Annie Hall were used to make a social statement and address social issues."
Many people are hoping the case goes to trial for the entertainment value of watching the notoriously private Woody Allen squirm on the stand as he explains to the jury how he took naked photos of and then started a physical relationship with the fourteen year old girl he helped to raise with longtime love Mia. Allen was accused of sexually abusing Mia's other two children, including his biological son but was not convicted. However, Mia got full custody. Allen went on to marry the girl he raised as a daughter.