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Woody Allen's 'Teen Lover' Speaks

Babi Christina Engelhardt: I cried when I saw 'Manhattan'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2018 7:00 PM CST
Updated Dec 18, 2018 1:00 AM CST
In this Saturday, May 15, 2010, file photo, filmmaker Woody Allen, right, and Soon-Yi Previn arrive for the premiere of "Another Year," at the 63rd international film festival, in Cannes, southern France.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
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(Newser) – A California woman says she was Woody Allen's secret teenage lover—and is telling her story of adoration, disillusion, and threesomes with Woody and Mia Farrow. Babi Christina Engelhardt was apparently just 16 when she dropped a note at Allen's restaurant table in 1976 with her phone number: "Since you've signed enough autographs, here's mine!" Responding to his call, she began an affair at his Fifth Avenue penthouse but played by the 41-year-old's rules: no talk about his work and no meeting outside his place. "Knowing he was a director, I didn't argue," she tells the Hollywood Reporter. "I was coming from a place of devotion." Yet she was shocked four years later to learn he was dating Mia Farrow, who joined Allen and Engelhardt for a "handful" of threesomes.

Unfulfilled after eight years, Engelhardt joined filmmaker Frederico Fellini's circle in Rome and later moved to Beverly Hills, where she's now a divorced mother of two daughters. At 59, she has no regrets despite the rise of #MeToo: "This is not 'bring down this man,'" she says. But she was hurt to become "little more than a plaything" and cried when his film Manhattan seemed to portray their relationship as "just a fling." She was also shocked by his marriage to Farrow's adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn: "Now he had no barriers. It was total disrespect." Allen later offered to visit her with Previn, but Engelhardt declined what seemed like an amorous proposal. "I used to dream of making love to Woody," she says. "Now I'm dreaming of him dying in my arms." Allen is yet to comment on the story, per the Boston Herald. (See what Previn has to say about her husband's controversies.)

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