Mia Farrow has had a big life. After a childhood in Beverly Hills and London with a movie-star mother, Maureen O’Sullivan, and a writer-director father, John Farrow, she became famous at 19 on Peyton Place, a sensation when it premiered in 1964 as television’s first prime-time soap opera. She lost her virginity to Frank Sinatra and married him when she was 21 and he was 50. Two years later he served her divorce papers on the set of Rosemary’s Baby, the Roman Polanski film for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination in 1968. Frank and Mia stayed close, however, even when she was married to the composer-conductor André Previn, whom she divorced in 1979, after having three sons and adopting three at-risk Asian daughters. She also continued to see Sinatra throughout her 13-year relationship with Woody Allen, which suffered a jolt when she found lurid photographs taken by Allen of Soon-Yi Previn, one of her adopted daughters, then a sophomore in college, on the mantel in Allen’s Manhattan apartment. Only a month earlier, in December 1991, Allen had formally adopted two of Mia’s children, 15-year-old Moses and 7-year-old Dylan, even though he was in therapy for inappropriate behavior toward Dylan. In August 1992, after disappearing with Allen in Mia’s Connecticut country house and reappearing without underpants, Dylan told her mother that Allen had stuck his finger up her vagina and kissed her all over in the attic, charges Allen has always vociferously denied. Anxious that Allen might cause her harm, Mia told me, she confessed her fears on the phone to Sinatra.
“Don’t worry about it,” he said, and shortly thereafter she got a call from a man who told her, “Don’t talk on the phone. Meet me at 72nd and Columbus Tuesday at 11 A.M. I’m in a gray sedan.”