NEW YORK — Lawyers for Woody Allen said Monday that a former nanny who worked for Mia Farrow has testified she was pressured by the actress to support charges that the filmmaker molested their 7-year-old adopted daughter.
The nanny, Monica Thompson, resigned from the Farrow household on Jan. 25 after being subpoenaed in the bitter custody battle between the actress and Allen. She told Allen's lawyers in depositions that another baby-sitter and one of the couple's other adopted children told her they had serious doubts about the molestation accusation.
Authorities in Connecticut are viewing a videotape made by Farrow as part of their investigation, which has included interviews with Allen and Farrow as well as the daughter, named Dylan.
Farrow's attorney, Eleanor Alter, issued a statement Monday saying, "It is my understanding . . . that Ms. Thompson has totally recanted" the statements attributed to her. She noted that Thompson's salary, upwards of $40,000 a year, was paid by Allen. Thompson could not be reached for comment.
Thompson said in a deposition that it took the actress two or three days to videotape Dylan making the accusations. At times the youngster appeared not to be interested in the process, the nanny said in sworn affidavits taken by Allen's attorneys.
"I know that the tape was made over the course of at least two and perhaps three days," Thompson said. "I was present when Ms. Farrow made a portion of that tape outdoors. I recall Ms. Farrow saying to Dylan at that time, 'Dylan, what did daddy do . . . and what did he do next?'
"Dylan appeared not to be interested, and Ms. Farrow would stop taping for a while and then continue."
Thompson, who had worked for Farrow for seven years, said she was not present in Connecticut the day last August the incident now under scrutiny by authorities allegedly occurred.
Thompson said the day after the alleged incident, when she got to work, the actress took Dylan to the doctor.
"When they arrived home, Farrow said Dylan had been 'afraid to talk to the doctor.' On Thursday, she took Dylan back to the doctor. When they arrived home, Farrow told me that 'everything is OK now--everything is set.' "
Thompson told Allen's lawyers that Farrow, upon returning from the second doctor's visit, seemed "very happy and excited for herself."
Thompson said that the next day Kristie Groteke, Dylan's baby-sitter, drove her to the bus, and her fellow employee was "very upset."
"She told me that she felt guilty allowing Ms. Farrow to say those things about Mr. Allen. (Groteke) said the day Mr. Allen spent with the kids, she did not have Dylan out of her sight for longer than five minutes. She did not remember Dylan being without her underwear."
"Ms. Farrow set the stage to report the incident involving Dylan," Thompson charged. "For several weeks, Ms. Farrow insisted that Mr. Allen not be left alone with Dylan and wanted me to be with them at all times."
The nanny said that on several occasions the actress "asked me if I would be 'on her side.' Ms. Farrow has tried to get me to say that I would support her with these accusations."
Thompson added that on one occasion almost immediately after the alleged incident, Moses, 14, another child Allen and Farrow adopted, indicated doubts about what, if anything, had taken place.
"Moses came over to me and said that he believes that Ms. Farrow had made up the accusation that was being said by Dylan," Thompson said in an affidavit.
The bitter custody battle between Allen and Farrow has been under way since last summer.
In her two affidavits filed with Allen's lawyers, Thompson painted a less than tranquil portrait of Farrow's household. She charged that the actress gives her biological children more gifts and possessions and depends on her adopted children "to do all the chores in and around the house."
She charged that about three years ago she witnessed Farrow slap Moses across the face because he could not find the dog's leash.
"The other children were horrified and told their mother that it could not have been Moses who lost the leash," the nanny said. "Farrow told the children that it was not their place to comment on the incident. The children were scared of their mother and did not like to confide in her because they were afraid of what her reactions might be."
"Since January, Ms. Farrow has suffered dramatic mood swings and had screaming fits about Mr. Allen," the nanny said in an affidavit taken last August. "These fits of rage were often conducted in front of the children where she would say mean and nasty things about Mr. Allen. All of the pictures of Mr. Allen in their home were destroyed."
Allen, 57, and Soon-Yi Farrow Previn, 22, one of Farrow's adopted daughters from her former marriage to conductor Andre Previn, have acknowledged that they are lovers.