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Attorney: Mia asked Woody for $8 million in hush money

By TRACEY L. MILLER

NEW YORK -- An attorney for Woody Allen testified that a lawyer acting for actress Mia Farrow asked for $7 or $8 million to 'resolve' the matter of Farrow's allegation that the actor-director had sexually abused their 7-year-old adopted daughter.

Irwin Tenenbaum, a witness for Allen in the state Supreme Court battle over custody of the famous couple's three children, said Friday he was told by one of Mia's attorneys, David Levitt, at a meeting of attorneys last Aug. 13 that the charge that Allen molested Dylan Farrow at her mother's Connecticut home last summer 'could be made to go away. '

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'We asked how that could be possible and he (Levitt) answered that 'We could have Dylan be not available or not cooperate,'' Tenenbaum said, adding, 'They said they could possibly withhold evidence and generally not cooperate with authorities.'

'Did the subject of money come up?' asked Elkan Abramowitz, trial attorney for Allen.

'Yes, it did,' Tenenbaum replied. 'The words I believe he (Levitt) used were 'big bucks.' We could work out a deal for $7 million or $8 million dollars and get this matter resolved.'

He said at this point attorney Alan Dershowitz of Harvard University, acting for Farrow as a 'mediator,' intervened.

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'He felt the amount was too high and perhaps we could do a 'down and dirty' settlement for $5 million,' Tenenbaum testified.

The witness said he told Levitt and Dershowitz that he and J. Martin Obten, another Allen attorney who was with him, had nothing to discuss in regard to hush money.

'I was completely outraged,' said Tenenbaum, a California lawyer who has represented Allen for 20 years.

The crucial child abuse charge came up again Friday in testimony by two babysitters, one of whom said she was instructed by Farrow to watch Allen and Dylan because Allen was 'sleeping' with Dylan's grown sister, Soon-Yi Previn, and she was nervous about his behavior toward Dylan.

Alison Stickland, an Irish babysitter who worked for a close friend of Farrow's, took the stand to recall what she saw on last Aug. 4, the day of the alleged molestation.

Strickland, employed by Farrow's old school classmate, Casey Pascal, said she was in the kitchen of Farrow's Connecticut home and went to the doorway of the TV room where Dylan, wearing a white dress printed with yellow sunflowers, was on the sofa with the TV on.

'Mr. Allen was on his knees in front of Dylan with his head in her lap,' Strickland testified. 'She had a blank expression.'

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'Were the two talking? Was there any movement?' she was asked by Abramowitz.

'No, just the sound the sound of TV,' she replied, adding that she then left, perturbed by what she saw.

'I told Mrs. Pacal I had seen something at Mia's that day that was bothering me,' she testified. 'Isaid I had seen Mr. Allen with his head in Dylan's lap.'

At this point Justice Elliott Wilk began questioning Strickland, asking if Allen's face was 'into' Dylan's body.

'Yes,' Strickland answered.

'Did you see where his arms and hands were?' asked Wilk.

'No,' the witness replied.

Dylan's own baby-sitter, Kristi Groteke, testified that on the same day the little girl disappeared for at least 20 minutes and turned up without her underpants on.

'Miss Farrow told me to be watchful of the two of them, that I was not to leave them alone because Mr. Allen was sleeping with Soon-Yi, had taken nude photographs of her, and she was nervous about his behavior toward Dylan.'

'Did you see a change in Dylan after that?' Groteke was asked by Eleanor Alter, Farrow's attorney.

'I would be changing her and she would sort of cover herself up and be real private,' Groteke testified. 'I said, 'Dylan, you're a girl and I'm a girl, so its okay, but she insisted.'

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Allen is seeking sole custody of Dylan, an adopted son, Moses Farrow, 15, and his natural son with Farrow, Satchel Allen, 5, on the grounds that Farrow is an unfit mother who put Dylan up to saying her father had abused her.

Allen claims Farrow filed a countersuit for custody in anger and jealousy after the 57-year-old Allen's admitted love affair with Previn, 22, ended Farrow's 13-year romance with Allen.

Allen has steadfastly denied the abuse charge and was cleared of the allegation by abuse experts at the Yale-New Haven Medical Center acting for Connecticut state police. Despite the exoneration last month, the police investigation is continuing in its eighth month.

The trial was to resume Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

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