NEW YORK -- The judge in the Woody Allen-Mia Farrow child custody battle Tuesday questioned the worth of testimony from psychiatrists for both sides since they can't say for sure if Allen sexually abused his adopted daughter.
Judge Elliott Wilk, as he has done often during 18 days of testimony, himself questioned the day's lone witness, a psychiatrist testifying on behalf of Farrow, expressing skepticism over whether such 'expert' testimony would help him decide which parent should be given custody of their three children.
Wilk was expected to begin deliberating late next week after both sides present final arguments, which could occur as early as Tuesday. The last witness, the case's 30th, was to be called Monday in a closed- door session.
Wilk, in addressing Tuesday's witness, Dr. Stephen Herman, said prior witnesses have not been able to say for sure whether Allen sexually abused his 7-year-old daughter, Dylan, as Farrow and the child have alleged.
'If we're going to use you as experts and you say, 'Maybe it happened and maybe it didn't happen'...it doesn't mean anything in how we deal with the children or the parent.
'Why do we come to you in the first place?' said the judge.
'The reason the courts and legal experts come to us is they think we have a magic way of knowing what did or didn't happen,' Herman said.
But he added that without incriminating physical evidence or the child showing obvious symptoms, expressing surety in court is virtually impossible.
Earlier, Herman said a report by child abuse experts from the Yale- New Haven, Conn., Hospital exonerating Allen of the abuse charge was 'seriously flawed in its methodology as well as its conclusions.'
'One could just have easily read this report and said that Dylan was abused,' he said.
The famous film actor and director is suing for sole custody of Dylan, another adopted child, Moses Farrow, 15, and the biological child he had with Farrow, Satchel Allen, 5. In her countersuit, the actress contends that Allen is an unfit father due to his alleged abuse of Dylan.
Herman noted that the Yale-New Haven Hospital team had questioned Dylan once a week for nine weeks but relied in its report on a psychological evaluation of the child that was two years old.
'In my mind, to drag this out over two months, particularly if you think the child is fragile and disturbed, doesn't make clinical sense to me,' the doctor testified.
Wilk asked Herman why he thought it was a bad idea for Farrow to make a videotape of Dylan talking about the alleged incident when such charges are so hard to prove and the tape would at least record details of the accusation.
'What's wrong with that?' the judge asked.
At that point, Farrow began sobbing silently in her chair, and her attorney handed her a tissue to dab her eyes.
A second issue in which the judge appears to favor Farrow is Allen's affair with another of Farrow's adopted children, Soon-Yi Previn, 22.
Monday, Wilk expressed concern that the affair was harmful to the emotional health of Previn's siblings.