A woman who says she was just 16 when she became Woody Allen's mistress in the 1970s is speaking out. Babi Christina Engelhardt, who says she was a teen model when she met the famed director in 1976, opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about her alleged eight-year affair with the "Annie Hall" filmmaker.
Engelhardt, who now goes by Christina Engelhardt, told THR that she met Allen at the restaurant and celebrity hotspot Elaine's and gave him her phone number. She said soon, Allen, who was 41 at the time, called her and invited her to his Fifth Avenue penthouse apartment. Engelhardt said Allen never asked her how old she was, but she told him she was still in high school. Engelhardt told THR that she and Allen became physically intimate at his apartment within weeks, months before she turned 17, which is the legal age of consent in New York.
The former model, now 59, said she has been thinking about it recently in light of the #MeToo movement and controversy surrounding Allen, whose adopted daughter Dylan Farrow has accused him of sexual abuse. Engelhardt made it clear that she is "not attacking Woody" and said she simply wants to provide perspective.
"This is not 'bring down this man,'" she said in the interview. "I'm talking about my love story. This made me who I am. I have no regrets." She said that she was responsible for staying in the relationship. Allen declined to comment for the story.
Engelhardt contended that she was the basis for the character of Tracy, the 17-year-old lover of Allen's character in his 1979 film "Manhattan," though she admitted that she doesn't believe she is the only inspiration for the character. She said that she knows actress Stacey Nelkin, who dated Allen when she was 17, also says she was Allen's "Manhattan" muse, though Engelhardt said, "I was like, 'Whatever.'" She said she met two of Allen's other young girlfriends during threesomes. But she appears to look fondly on the film, saying it reminds her "why I thought he was so interesting — his wit is magnetic."
Two of Engelhardt's friends told THR they remember Engelhardt's relationship with Allen at the time. Engelhardt also provided THR with a memoir manuscript she wrote about her time with Allen.
Engelhardt, now a mother of two, said that she was disappointed when Allen introduced her to his "girlfriend," Mia Farrow, since she thought she was Allen's girlfriend. But Engelhardt said that she later participated in threesomes with Farrow and Allen. Farrow declined to comment.
Engelhardt last communicated with Allen in 2001, after she sent him a copy of a documentary she'd appeared in about "The Voice of the Moon," Federico Fellini's final film. Engelhardt was a muse to Fellini, and left New York after becoming increasingly dissatisfied with her uneven relationship with Allen.
Allen wrote to Engelhardt, "I hope you're happy and well. I recall our times together fondly. If you're ever in New York I would love you to meet my wife — she'd like you. We get out to California every so often. If you'd like I'd call and perhaps we could all get together." Engelhardt believes that Allen was referring to a sexual encounter.
"I already had children then," she said. "I was like — not that I've gone square, but my priorities were different. I just wanted to stay away from that."
In September,in defense of her husband. "What's happened to Woody is so upsetting, so unjust," she said in an interview with New York Magazine. She disputed the molestation claims by Dylan Farrow, saying, "[Mia Farrow] has taken advantage of the #MeToo movement and paraded Dylan as a victim. And a whole new generation is hearing about it when they shouldn't."