Ronan Farrow ‘unfazed’ by paternity drama: ‘I mean, it’s a ridiculous situation’


Here are some new photos of Ronan Farrow and his mom Mia at last night’s benefit for The Blue Card (a Holocaust survivor non-profit). Ronan looks slender! He’s already losing weight ahead of his new MCNBC hosting gig (which I guess starts next year). I saw him on Morning Joe this morning talking about Obamacare and too. He’s very photogenic, but I’m actually having some second thoughts about his MSNBC gig – he needs more “presence” on camera, because Joe Scarborough was walking all over him this morning. Anyway, when Ronan was on the red carpet last night, he spoke to Vulture about his paternity drama and whether he would ever want to know for sure if he is Frank Sinatra’s son:

Tonight at the 79th anniversary benefit and auction for The Blue Card, a Holocaust survivor non-profit, Ronan Farrow showed up to the American Museum of Natural History to find a hungry scrum of reporters wondering about his paternity – the rumor reignited when his mother recently told Vanity Fair that he was “possibly” the son of Frank Sinatra, rather than of Woody Allen as it has long been thought.

“You know, I wasn’t there, so I don’t have a lot more to offer than you,” he said, with a winning grin and a flash of those steely blue eyes, after gently declining a joint photo-op with his mother. “Of course, it is a distraction … But I take it in stride. Look, we all have, you know, our family histories to bear … so …” He was then whisked away from the onslaught of questions by a publicist.

Despite the recent news that Ronan Farrow inked a book deal with Penguin to write about his time working in global affairs and secured a job as an MSNBC anchor, the whispers at the party focused on his lineage: Was he the son of baritone crooner or the auteur of agita?

After he beat an escape, we followed a long hallway to an elaborate banquet room (white swooping drapes, pink glow-lighting, a dozen waiters lined up on a wall with wine at the ready), where Ronan was negotiating a leafy salad so he could mingle and accept the Richard C. Holbrooke Award for Social Justice with his mother during the actual dinner. Miles Davis’s “Kind of Blue” was playing in the background.

Following some small talk, we asked him point blank: Why not just do a DNA test and put an end to the paternity speculation?

“You know, that story has been out there for years,” he said. “It was somewhat surprising to see it break in such a huge way of late. I’m fairly … I mean, I appreciate how hilarious it is. I mean, it’s a ridiculous situation. That said, I’m pretty unfazed by it in substance, because it’s been out there both publicly and privately for so long. You know, I have a relationship that I’m very happy with, you know, with all parties involved. For me, the imperative is ‘all right, we’ve talked about it, I get a kick out of it, everyone gets a kick out of it. Let’s move onto the substance,’ — which is one reason I’m so excited to be rolling out this show.”

That’s what he wants to focus on — how MSNBC has plucked him to shake things up on the network.

“And it’s very much about bringing in something that doesn’t resemble any of the existing models,” he said. “Because … to be completely frank …” — as he paused we mentally filled in “Sinatra” — “I think the existing models, you know, could use a breath of fresh air.”

He wants to create an informed viewership in his generation that knows how to respond to the issues at hand.

“I think that it is easy to malign us as a distracted generation,” he said. “But we’re also a more engaged generation. And we can talk about ‘slacktivism.’ We can talk about people jumping on trends. But it all emanates from a place of wanting to be more actively involved — wanting to not just sit by and listen to the story but actually wanting a guide, a tool set for how to be engaged. This show is geared around tackling exactly that challenge.”

But back to the real point of our conversation: Does he have an inkling of whether Frank Sinatra or Woody Allen is more likely his father?

“Look, I grew up in a family with ten adopted siblings, so you know, if anything, I consider it an insult to them to obsess too much over the question of genetic provenance,” he said, returning to his salad.

When we asked his mother about the paternity issue, she was inconclusive.

“What I feel is here and now we’re here to support the survivors of the Holocaust and make sure their days are comfortable and safe and to work toward prevention of the next Holocaust as fruitless as that may sound,” she said. “And I really don’t want to go off topic. I’m here for that and only that tonight.”

“But …” we said.

“There is no ‘but’ … ”

Then we asked her: Should Ronan just do a DNA test?

“I am sticking with my topic tonight,” she said. “You know, we’re happy as a family, and if I had any information or new stuff, I wouldn’t be sharing it with you, would I? It would be a family matter. But no, I don’t think anything of the kind. I’m here for this one reason.”

We asked if there’s a greater chance that Sinatra or Allen is the father.

“You know what, I’ve got to hand it to you for being dogged,” she said.

“I try,” we said.

“You did try,” she said. “Bless you.”

[From Vulture]

Do they deserve bonus points for being coy and using the gossip to promote their causes? Or are you annoyed? I mean, Ronan’s paternity drama isn’t any of my business, it’s just that his mom put it out there in an on-the-record interview with Vanity Fair. I think the questions are to be expected. I do admire Ronan’s point of view (although for a genius, he sure uses a lot of “I mean” and “you know” fillers), which seems to be along the lines of “this drama has nothing to do with what I really want my life to be about.” Which is fine. Then tell your mom not to talk about it to Vanity Fair!





Photos courtesy of WENN.

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80 Responses to “Ronan Farrow ‘unfazed’ by paternity drama: ‘I mean, it’s a ridiculous situation’”

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  1. Jayna says:

    Sadly, your own mother put it out there. I thought it was tacky to do.

    • Rachel says:

      And yet when questioned about it, she says “if I had any new information… I wouldn’t be sharing it with you, would I.” Ummm, why not? You started the whole kerfuffle Mia.

    • Aud says:

      Mia is a histrionic type personality.

      • someone says:

        Agreed. Mia brings it up for her PRO-Mia Vanity Fair article and then slams the door on further questions when it doesn’t suit her anymore.

  2. Christin says:

    The topic she doesn’t wish to discuss anymore certainly garnered him a lot of attention.

  3. Post-Its says:

    It’s so obvious in that first picture who his father is.

  4. Amy Tennant says:

    I really like what he said about his adopted siblings.

  5. Kiddo says:

    Completely calculated, in my opinion, and I called it before I knew he had a show. I don’t know whether his mother did this on her own or if he was privy to it ahead of time. At any rate, I don’t think he minds at all that she did.

  6. K says:

    Mia’s always been a little bit of a loose cannon. She was a better parent than Allen was, though.

  7. Bridget says:

    He’s clearly intelligent, but I thought his use of filler words just showed his youth(though I realize that he’s not actually that young anymore) and the fact that he’s still pretty uncoached, which I didn’t hugely mind. I think he’s handled the whole paternity question well, but it feels like a bit much for Mia to play coy when she’s the one who threw it out there. It’s not like she didn’t know what kind of stir she was going to cause.

    • Tapioca says:

      You can be a certified genius and not be the most eloquent communicator – I went to school with a boy who was a living calculator, but could barely string two words together.

      Agree that Mia knows what she’s doing.

      • pf says:

        Exactly. His use of filler words doesn’t make him less of a genius. If anything, he was most likely uncomfortable in the situation. But he probably needs more practice in public speaking now that he will be on television. But a lot of geniuses and introverts are really bad in their communication skills.

      • Bridget says:

        Aside from the filler phrases, what he was saying was actually very well-spoken. I just have a hard time shading him, considering that he’s actually intelligent and has made something of himself unlike many celebrity children, including some pretty amazing charity work.

    • someone says:

      Look….I mean…You know

  8. lenje says:

    Of course the father issue garners more attention to them (and looks like it opens more opportunity to him), but I still feel annoyed reading how pushy the reporter is on the question. Granted, they might play it coy.

    • Kristin says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I was far more irritated with the damn reporter who, despite the admirable cause that was being celebrated that night, just wouldn’t lay off the tabloid, gossipy questions of paternity. There’s a time and a place for everything, and a benefit for Holocaust survivors is NOT the right time or place.

    • jaye says:

      I agree. Once she said that wasn’t going to discuss the topic at that particular event (several times in fact) the reporter should have just left the topic alone. I found that VERY irritating and inappropriate given the nature of the event they were attending.

  9. A says:

    This IS ridiculous, he’s a grown man who already uses his mother’s name, he’s not speaking to Woody, and Sinatra’s dead.

  10. Virgilia Coriolanus says:

    Although I am an admirer of Mia’s humanitarian work, I do think that she is courting the press, for absolutely no other reason, than to get attention (for whatever–Ronan’s new job??).

    I don’t really understand why she gave that VF interview. I’d get it, if she did the interview to promote talking to your children about speaking up, if an adult makes you feel uncomfortable. Or promoting some charity that has to do with rape/child abuse.

    But it just seems to me that she’s bringing it up, because it’s on her mind. Because she’s still bitter that she lost. And I don’t like that. You can be angry at him (I would), but bringing it up now seems self serving and selfish.

    • gg says:

      Lost what exactly? Didn’t she get all the kids?

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        I mean the allegations with Woody molesting Dylan—Woody basically getting off scott free (in Hollywood’s eyes)….I think she’s p-ssed about something, if she keeps bringing it up for attention–not to help people (which is my issue).

  11. Grant says:

    I want him. Badly.

  12. RHONYC says:

    jesus…it looks like his face is perfectly contoured with makeup, or he travels with his own personal lighting director. so eerily handsome. :mrgreen:

  13. Santolina says:

    The question to ask is why this is such a mystery? Ronan’s playing into the paternity drama and media sideshow by not getting a simple DNA test. He’s a grown man and needs to own it. I suspect he’s Woody’s son, or he would have done it by now.

    • Bridget says:

      He’s known for a long time that there was some question there, and he’s clearly at peace with it. A DNA test wouldn’t be for his benefit, it would be for our (and the media’s) benefit.

      • Green Girl says:

        I think I agree with Bridget. If he doesn’t really care, then why should we?

      • Stef Leppard says:

        I agree. I think he probably doesn’t really care. He doesn’t speak to Woody, and Frank is dead, so what would even be the point of finding out? He probably considers himself to be his mother’s son and without a father and is okay with that.

      • jaye says:

        Agreed. I don’t think he’s courting the press regarding the issue. The media wants him to do a DNA test because for the outlet that gets the story first it’d be a HUGE get. He seems to have made peace with it and doesn’t really address it in a serious way. The general public wants to know, but if he’s good with whatever the actual story is, that’s good enough for me.

    • Nina W says:

      It may not be a mystery to him, he may know already and may choose to keep that information private. It’s nobodies business except him and his parents, the public has no “right to know” and he is under no obligation to run out and get tested to satisfy the curiosity of the public, though I wish he would.

  14. Kiki says:

    I want to give them the benefit of the doubt about publicity, and say that Mia said it just to ruffle Woody’s feathers. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. I think the fmaily knows, and she used it as an arrow against Woody for the piece. A new grenade to throw at him.

    • Santolina says:

      A more pointed arrow would have been the DNA test results, themselves, but it’s increasingly clear that they don’t have those, so they’re resorting to innuendo and milking it in the media at a time carefully chosen to damage the intended target. I think Woody Allen is an egregious character who few would want to claim as their father. However, that question never goes away, especially when future generations begin asking it. It will continue to be the elephant in the room of Ronan’s life, and he’ll need to deal with it so he can move past his mother’s agenda and be his own man in the world.

  15. GreenieWeenie says:

    I think he knows it’s Sinatra…he’s the spitting image, obviously–but Sinatra’s widow seems to have a hard time with it. So seems like they’ve got some sort of agreement where they don’t explicitly acknowledge it due to the widow, but everyone knows it’s true.

    • Jen34 says:

      I agree. He and Sinatra’s children have known for a long time. I doubt they would consider him family or feel blessed to have him in their lives if Frank hadn’t acknowledged him as his son/their brother. This is all on Mia. She never should have spoken about it or evaded the question when asked.

  16. Itwillrain says:

    He may not be Sinatra’s kid, but he definitely bears NO resemblance to Woody!!

  17. Aud says:

    I think that her initiation of this topic only indicates her own histrionic tendencies – her need to have attention.

  18. Dml says:

    Look she put it out there so she shouldn’t be upset by the line of questioning.
    Clearly, though, NO DNA test needed. He is spitting image, absolutely one face with Sinatra. No doubts here. I’m certain he knows this already, too

  19. drea says:

    It’s funny how he went from looking so much like Mia as a kid to looking so much like Frank as an adult.

    I suspect that they all know, or have almost always just assumed, that he’s Frank’s kid. His very close relationship with the Sinatra family (minus the widow, of course) says a lot.

    If there’s one person who didn’t know or wasn’t sure, I think it’s Woody. So, no, Woody, that guy’s genius didn’t come from you, and yes, Woody, it seems that your genetic contribution to the world is nil.

  20. nancy in ak says:

    Here’s my theory: Mia used a sperm bank because Woody Allen was infertile. She may have even used the “genius” sperm bank (Ronan is brilliant.) Ronan turns out to look somewhat like Sinatra, so she is playing this up and joking around by saying, He is POSSIBLY frank’s son just to bug Woody and gain publicity for Ronan. Of course, it is possible, if frank donated to the sperm bank which he did not

    • someone says:

      This was my theory as well. I think it’s the most likely possibility.

    • Jen34 says:

      But that doesn’t takr into account his close relationship with the Sinatra children.

      I am sure Woody knew he wasn’t or couldn’t be the father. Perhaps he had a vasectomy or was infertile or wasn’t sleeping with Mia at the time. I am just not sure Woody knew who the father was.

  21. Holly says:

    Oh please let him become the next (and better, I can’t see him hanging around with Andy Cohen and Kelly Ripa burning $100 bills and laughing at peasants) Anderson Cooper!!!

  22. Merritt says:

    In the lead photo he definitely looks like a combination of Mia and Frank. But who knows?

    It is his business and he seems pretty relaxed about the whole thing. The guy has to be used to dealing with crazy stuff by now.

  23. Penelope says:

    Maybe I’m just suggestible but he looks a lot like Frank Sinatra, especially in that first picture.

    God this kid is gorgeous.

    • Nina W says:

      He looks so much like his mother but I’m not sure I see Frank. As someone mentioned above though, he looks nothing like Woody.

  24. jane26 says:

    I thought they were going to say “after gently declining a joint” (but then I read photo op – too bad!)

  25. Nic says:

    He looks so much like his mom!

  26. Anna-fo-Fanna says:

    I keep wanting to find him hot, but his mouth is a tragedy! I find it disturbing that there’s a reverse cupid’s bow on the underside of his top lip as well as the top-side. It looks like someone pinched the center of his upper lip in the womb! Horrible, and I can’t look away!

  27. Nic says:

    Damn it! I want to know!

  28. Rosen says:

    I agree that Mia knew the power of her well-placed “possibly.” So she certainly can’t get too dismayed that media outlets are going to ask about it.

    But to defend her just a little, a benefit for Holocaust survivors isn’t the greatest place to get your Maury Povich on.

  29. Pickle Jar says:

    I want to know his sexual orientation.

  30. Maggie says:

    I dont care who his father is….he’s gorgeous!

  31. Dahlia1947 says:

    I was watching a movie the other day starring Frank when he was young, and I gotta say that this boy is the spittin’ image of his dad! Same nose, smile, eyes, everything!

  32. Alexa says:

    Of course I don’t know Ronan, but from the bit I’ve read about him (including actual quotations over the years) – I really LIKE him. I have daughters – no sons – but I’d be so proud to be his mother, and think that I have a daughter he might fall for (so maybe I could be his mom-in-law). (DREEEEAM, dream, dream, dream . . . lol . . .)

  33. Mary says:

    yes but is he MIAS son?

  34. Mina says:

    My only question is, why did he have his lips done? They used to be fuller, and now the upper lip has that “done” look.

  35. AbFab says:

    It would seem they are trying to get it out and beyond him, so that when the show starts, that will publicly be old news and he can get on with his endeavor.

  36. AbFab says:

    It would seem they are trying to get it out and over, so that when his show comes on, it is publicly old news and onward with his new endeavor. Control the message. It is kind of the elephant in the room, but he probably didnt need to deal with it before becoming more public. A blind man could see who his daddy was.

  37. Yoda says:

    Having any genetic lineage with Woody Allen would make anyone try this kind of thing. *shudder*

  38. ParisPucker says:

    Actually have met him before as we have a few mutual friends…am here to tell you that he’s great. He lied about his last name for a while to go under the radar – super smart, down to earth and just a wonderful person. I think he’s handled all of this static around him with real class. He deserves all the success he’s getting: he’s earned it. I mean, who goes to law school as a teenager? who makes jokes about the type of attention he’s getting, and proud of such an eccentric upbringing/ Anyone less could have been embarrassed by it. Not him. A rarity, a true class act, and funny. Hope old blue eyes really is his pops – cuz’ that sure as hell way cooler than WA being your dad!

  39. M79 says:

    I am inclined to believe Ronan is Woody’s. He looks exactly like his mother so it’s hard to see any resemblance towards any other parental figure, but the fact is that like Woody or not, he is a genius, and so is Ronan. With respect to the comment about him using lots of verbal fillers “for a genius”, people forget that geniuses are people too, and just as fallible and flawed.

  40. Deedee says:

    He looks like Frank.