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Woody's sister: he never, ever lost temper

By TRACEY L. MILLER

NEW YORK -- Woody Allen's sister testified in her brother's child-custody trial that the acclaimed actor-director was 'a warm, loving parent,' who never, ever lost his temper with anyone.

'He has no temper,' Letty Aronson, Allen's 48-year-old sister, said Friday.

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'In my entire life, he has never lost his temper, that I have seen. He literally has no temper,' she said.

Aronson, the vice president of an independent production company who has three children, said of her brother, 'He was a very, very warm and loving parent. He gives (the children) 100 percent of his attention and he's very devoted....

'He came to fatherhood very late, or later than normal standards, and they (the children) became the focus of his attention,' she said. 'Once he became a father...he changed his (film) shooting schedule to meet their needs.'

At another point, she said, 'He made the best malteds in the world for them.'

Allen, 56, is locked in a bitter custudy battle with his former lover of 13 years, Mia Farrow, for the couple's adopted daughter, Dylan, 7, adopted son, Moses, 15, and their biological child, Satchel Allen, 5.

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Aronson said that in a conversation with Farrow in February 1992, after Allen's affair with another daughter adopted by Farrow, Soon-Yi Previn, 21, became known, Farrow accused Woody of raping Soon-Yi, adding that 'if he can do that to her, the only surprise is that it was not Dylan.'

Aronson said she told Farrow, 'He wouldn't hurt a hair on their heads.

'I told her it's totally unbelievable to me that he would do that... I said child abuse is every mother's nightmare, and she said, 'No, it's every lover's nightmare,'' Aronson said.

'I felt the conversation was peculiar,' she added.

Months later, when she urged Farrow to settle the custody issue out of court, Aronson said the actress said, 'I can't do that. I can never let them stay at Woody's house. If it came to that, I would take them and run away.'

Farrow's attorney, Eleanor Alter, asked Aronson what she thought about her brother's affair with Soon-Yi.

'I think it was en error in judgement. I think it was inappropriate, ' she said, adding, however, that Farrow's subsequent rage, including accusing Allen of abusing Dylan, was worse.

'What he did was not right and was not socially acceptable. What she did was wrong but socially acceptable,' Aronson said.

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Her testimony revealed that Allen gives her $60,000 a year for her children's education, but when asked if she knew about 10 joint bank accounts in her and Woody's names, Aronson said she knew nothing about them.

Outside the court, Aronson said she believes Farrow made up the child-abuse accusation. When asked why, Aronson replied, 'Strictly anger and revenge.'

'This is a very extreme case of the woman scorned.'

Earlier, Dr. Nancy Schultz, who treated Dylan in 1991 when she was 5, testified behind closed doors.

Justice Elliott Wilk did not explain why he had decided to exclude reporters, saying only, 'We'll struggle along as best we can without the press.'

Thursday, Schultz described Dylan's tentative ties to reality long before her parents began feuding over Allen's love affair with Soon-Yi.

Last August, Farrow, 47, alleged that Dylan told her Allen sexually abused her at Farrow's home in rural Connecticut, a charge that is still under investigation by state police although Allen has been exonerated by abuse experts at the Yale-New Haven Medical Center.

Allen has steadfastly denied the allegation and accused Farrow of coaching Dylan in making the charge as the result of jealousy over Soon- Yi.

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Another witness, Dr. Susan Coates, a psychiatrist who treated Dylan, testified earlier that this might be the case.

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