NEW YORK -- A child psychiatrist who treated Dylan Farrow until she was dismissed by the child's mother, actress Mia Farrow, testified Tuesday that Woody Allen was 'enormously committed' to being a father.
The witness in the bitter Farrow-Allen child custody battle, Dr. Susan Coates, gave her opinion of the world famous film actor-director's ability as a parent under questioning from Allen's attorney, Elkan Abramowitz.
It was Coates's second day on the stand in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.
'I saw that Mr. Allen was devoted to the little children and that he really wanted to be a major part of their lives and wanted help with his parenting skills,' she said. 'He was enormously committed to being a parent.'
Farrow, 48, and Allen, 57, are both seeking sole custody of Dylan, their 7-year-old adopted daughter, an adopted son, Moses, 15, and their biological son, Satchel, 5.
Allen appeared less jaunty in court Tuesday than he did at the opening of the custody trial March 22. He nervously switched seats so that only one person separated him from Farrow, who appeared prim and collected. Neither of them looked at the other.
Farrow has charged that Allen, her lover for 13 years, sexually abused Dylan but investigating authorities have so far failed to file charges against him.
Questioned as to whether Farrow ever told the psychiatrist that Allen had stroked Dylan 'to the point of arousal' and pinned the child down on the bed by her arms, the grim-faced witness answered a brusque 'No!' to both questions.
Coates testified that Allen's relationship with Dylan was 'inappropriately intense' but denied that it was 'romantic.'
'Mr. Allen focused on Dylan because he felt Miss Farrow was obsessed with Satchel,' she testified.
But she said Farrow had told her Allen was a 'negative and bad influence' on Satchel, whom Coates also treated.
'I told her I thought there was a positive relationship between Mr. Allen and Satchel,' she said. 'She did not agree with me about Satchel. She did not want him to see his father. She said she'd feel safer if Satchel was not with his father.'
Coates testifed that Farrow and Allen were included in her sessions with Dylan and Satchel but denied that she was treating Allen for 'sexual problems.'
She said Allen once told her another of Farrow's adopted children, Fletcher Previn, now 18, slept with his mother in the same bed until he was seven.
'Miss Farrow later confirmed this in an argument with me,' Coates said. 'She said she felt there was a cultural difference about whether it was okay for a child to sleep in the same bed with his mother, but that Fletcher had slept with her and he was fine.'
Monday, Coates testified that Farrow's anger at Allen after she found out he was having an affair with another of her adopted children, Soon- Yi Previn, 22, was so 'out of control' that she warned Allen his life could be in danger.
At the core of the suit is Farrow's allegation that Allen molested Dylan in her rural home in Connecticut last August.
Since then she has prevented Woody from seeing the children, but Allen has has won court approval of visitation with Satchel.