Shining a light on his personal life, 80-year-old auteur Woody Allen opened up about his wife of 18 years, Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of Allen’s then-partner Mia Farrow.

“I was immune, yes I was. You can see I worked right through that, undiminished,” the prolific filmmaker says in the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter, referring to the scandal that followed Farrow’s 1992 discovery of nude photographs of Previn, then a college student, taken in Allen’s apartment. Though Allen was not officially Previn’s stepfather, fallout from the romance led to his losing custody of his and Farrow’s three children.

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Now, nearly two decades after marrying Previn in Venice, Italy, on Dec. 23, 1997, Allen calls her “one of the great experiences of my life.” Describing her impoverished childhood in Korea before being adopted by Farrow and then-husband André Previn, “I’ve been able to really make her life better,” Allen says. “I provided her with enormous opportunities, and she has sparked to them. She’s educated herself and has tons of friends and children” — Bechet Dumaine and Manzie Tio, adopted as infants in 1999 and 2000, respectively — “and got a college degree and went to graduate school, and she has traveled all over with me now. . . . So the contributions I’ve made to her life have given me more pleasure than all my films.”

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Previn — whose exact age is unknown but was between 5 and 7 years old according to a bone scan done upon her adoption in 1978 — has “given me a lot of pleasure. I adore her, and she’s given me a wonderful life,” Allen told the magazine, adding, “And she has given me the great years of my life, personally.”

Allen has only occasionally discussed his and Previn’s relationship, including with Vanity Fair in 2005 and with Reuters and the UK newspaper The Guardian in 2011.