Kathy Griffin recalls Woody Allen telling her he 'loved watching Hannah Montana': 'He creeped me the hell out'

Suzy Byrne

After a woman came forward Monday to claim she was Woody Allen’s “secret teen lover” in the 1970s, Kathy Griffin resurfaced an old story about attending a dinner party with the famed director and being “creeped out.”

Griffin, who doesn’t seem afraid to weigh in on the topic, having survived her drama with Trump, linked to a clip of herself telling the longer story at Build (which is an Oath-owned property) in 2016 when she was promoting her book, Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins, My A-Z Index. At the time, Allen, 83, was already a controversial figure — for leaving girlfriend Mia Farrow for her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, as well as for subsequent claims by Allen and Farrow’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, that he sexually abused her (which he has denied) — but that was before the #MeToo era, when several stars from his films distanced themselves from the director.

Here is the full clip of Griffin telling the Woody Allen story on Build:

Griffin, describing her encounter with Allen as a “jaw-dropper,” said in the video: “I’m in a small dinner party — like 12 people — and I’m seated next to Woody Allen, and I’m uncomfortable because I think he’s guilty.” When people laughed, she added, “I’m allowed to think that” and continued. “So he sits next to me, and he opened with a funny line because, I have to say, I like a dark sense of humor, and he’s got legit indiscretions but he’s also a legit genius. So he comes in with the wife and goes, ‘I’m Woody, and this is my child bride.'”

Kathy Griffin recalls Woody Allen talking to her about Miley Cyrus around the time the young actress starred in <em>Hannah Montana</em>, and it made her uneasy. (Photos: Getty Images)
Kathy Griffin recalls Woody Allen talking to her about Miley Cyrus around the time the young actress starred in Hannah Montana, and it made her uneasy. (Photos: Getty Images)

Griffin said she initially appreciated his “awareness” of his reputation, but she said small talk didn’t work with Allen, whom she described as “very frail and very feeble.” For instance, when she asked him about directing various comedians, he replied that his casting director handled that. He said he’d never seen his “friend” Liev Schreiber in Showtime’s Ray Donovan nor Kevin Spacey, with whom he had also worked, in House of Cards. (Well, when Spacey still did.) Griffin said she sensed that Allen “found me annoying,” so she decided to just “make it fun for myself.” That led her to bring up Miley Cyrus, who was the tween star of Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana, before becoming a pop star, and that got Allen talking.

“Swear to God, he goes, ‘I’ve never missed Hannah Montana,” Griffin recalled. She called his response “creepy, but weird, but funny.” Allen continued, “’I don’t know, that girl, she just had something,’” before Griffin replied, “‘Yeah, she was 8.’” (She was actually 13 when she debuted in the role.)

Griffin said Allen seemed concerned about Cyrus’s later wild child phase, saying “‘It’s kind of sad what’s happened to her.”

Griffin said that after talking to Allen about Cyrus, who is now 26, she said something about all the celebrities he must have met during his long, storied career, and he replied, “And now I have to watch my friend Bill Cosby get railroaded.” Cosby is serving 3 to 10 years in prison after being convicted on three counts of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand. Dozens of other women also accused Cosby of drugging and assaulting them.

Griffin’s story about Allen is the first celebrity run-in in her book. Of Allen’s interest in Cyrus, she wrote, “Yeah. Pick your jaw up off the floor, and let that nestle somewhere uncomfortably in your stomach.”

Of course, Allen went on to cast Cyrus in his 2016 Amazon series Crisis in Six Scenes. And Cyrus said in 2016 that, despite the sexual abuse allegations against Allen, she jumped at the chance to work with him. “I live a similar life to Woody — I live a public life,” she told Variety. “Until I know someone and I know their story, I never really judge anyone. That’s kind of how I went into it. From the way I saw him with his family, I never saw him be anything but an incredible person and a really great dad. People might slam me for saying that. I’m sure it was a hard time for that family. My family has been through hard things, and I think everyone’s suffering is different.”

On Monday, the Hollywood Reporter ran an interview with model and actress Christina Engelhardt, who claimed she met Allen in October 1976 — when she was 16 and he was 40 — and they had a sexual relationship over a span of eight years. Engelhardt, who has written a manuscript about the relationship, said she wasn’t speaking out to “bring down this man,” and added, “I’m talking about my love story.” Her love story included claims that she and Allen had threesomes with at least three other women, including Farrow. Engelhardt also suggested that she was the inspiration for Allen’s Manhattan, in which his character slept with a 17-year-old played by Mariel Hemingway. (In 2015, Hemingway claimed Allen tried to seduce her as a teen.)

Griffin wasn’t alone in her bold reaction to the latest headline about Allen. Judd Apatow and Soledad O’Brien didn’t hold back either.

Neither Allen nor Farrow, who ended their relationship in 1992, provided comment to the Hollywood Reporter about Engelhardt’s claims. They didn’t respond to our request for comment either.

We also reached out about Griffin’s tweet and will post a response if we’re given one.

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