The former model and actress has spoken about their secret relationship for the first time
A woman alleges that she was in a relationship with Woody Allen that started when she was 16 and he was 41.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, former model and actress Christina Engelhardt says she first met Allen in October 1976 in a New York restaurant.
The pair went on to have an eight-year affair behind closed doors. The legal age of consent in New York at the time was 17, which remains the case today.
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Engelhardt has made it clear that she is not criticising Allen. “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,” she added. “This made me who I am. I have no regrets.”
In the interview Engelhardt also explains how Allen knew that she was still in high school in New Jersey at the time though he never asked her age. The lovers would meet on one condition; that they would do so in secret at Allen’s apartment on Fifth Avenue. Engelhardt visited the city regularly to pursue a modelling career.
The now 59-year-old added that she believes she was an inspiration for Allen’s 1979 film, Manhattan. Allen plays Isaac “Ike” Davis, a 42-year-old who has a relationship with 17-year-old Tracey (played by Mariel Hemingway).
Elsewhere, in 2017 Allen was again accused of sexual abuse by his former partner Mia Farrow’s daughter, Dylan. She made the same claims in 1992, 2013 and 2014. Allen has denied the allegations and has not been charged.
A Rainy Day in New York, the latest movie from the longstanding director, appears to have been put on hold indefinitely by its distributor Amazon following Dylan’s accusation written in a Los Angeles Times op-ed last year. The film, which has yet been given a release date, stars Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Rebecca Hall and Selena Gomez.