Frank Sinatra Is Not The Father Of Ronan Farrow According To A New Book
There is a new biography about Frank Sinatra, following hundreds of books published about one of our most famous crooners, but ‘Sinatra and Me: In the Wee Small Hours’ by Tony Oppedisano is in the news because of this sort of déjà-vu piece of information: the author doesn’t believe Sinatra could be Ronan Farrow’s father.
Why is this important? Maybe because the documentary ‘Allen vs Farrow, which still airs on HBO, has managed to convince a lot of people that Mia and Ronan Farrow’s side of the story is the truth, whereas the reality is much more nebulous, to say the least. But a lot of Farrow-related facts are nebulous, and the truth has never been the goal.
The rumor about the real paternity of Allen and Farrow’s unique child started with this glamorous piece about Mia Farrow published by Vanity Fair in 2013. When asked if Sinatra could be Ronan’s father, Mia answered ‘Possibly.’
Since, people haven’t stopped speculating about the likeness between the two men, while juxtaposing a photo of young Sinatra with a photo of Ronan and noticing the same blue eyes and an almost striking resemblance… if you pick the right photos.
The problem is that Tony Oppedisano, who was a close friend of Sinatra, doesn’t buy it for good reasons. ‘There’s been a lot of gossip about Frank’s possibly being Ronan’s biological father,’ Oppedisano writes, ‘rumors I believe I’m a position to tamp down.’ Oppedisano says that if Sinatra and Farrow met during her relationship with Allen, Sinatra’s health issues would have made it almost impossible for him to have an intimate relationship with Mia: Sinatra had emergency diverticulitis surgery (partial or total removal of the colon) in late 1986, and he ‘had to wear a colostomy bag until he fully recovered.’
Ronan Farrow was born on December 19th, 1987, and thus his conception, around April 1987, looks very dubious to Oppedisano: ‘There are only two ways Frank could have fathered Ronan, both absurd,’ he writes. ‘Either Mia made a secret trip to shack up with Frank in his California home with [fourth wife] Barbara present, or Frank, wearing his always romantic colostomy bag, made a quick trip to Connecticut between his Atlantic City performances.’
It’s definitively a problem, but it would not be the first time Mia Farrow arranges reality to fit her fantasy narrative. and let’s-be-honest plain lies.
In 2018, Woody Allen himself revealed he had some doubt on whether he was Ronan’s father, telling New York Magazine, ‘In my opinion, he’s my child. I think he is, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it.’
But there is another important point that Oppedisano makes in his book: ‘If Ronan had been Frank’s son, Frank would have acknowledged him,’ he writes. It’s true that Mia Farrow never alluded to this when Sinatra was still alive, and between 1987 and 1998, she had some time.
In 2015, Sinatra’s daughter, Nancy Sinatra dismissed the idea she had a possible half-brother during a segment of a CBS Sunday Morning interview: ‘Mia’s son? Oh, nonsense. He would just laugh it off. We didn’t laugh it off because it was affecting my kids, you know. They were being questioned about it and we all knew it was nonsense. I was kind of cranky with Mia for even saying, ‘Possibly,’ I was cranky with her for saying that because she knew better, you know, she really did. But she was making a joke! And it was taken very seriously and was just silly, stupid.’
As for Ronan himself, he has addressed the issue numerous amount of times and even tweeted a few times about it. ‘Listen, we’re all *possibly* Frank Sinatra’s son,’ he tweeted in 2013 (the tweet is now gone) as if he was not taking the subject seriously. You would think that knowing the identity of your father is not a joking subject, but Ronan and his mother have always taken it lightly.
A lot of people stop at the resemblance between young Sinatra and Ronan, but there are a few things they should know. First, Ronan also looks like his mother, especially when she was young, younger, he simply looked like a male version of Mia. Then there are all the rumors about plastic surgery, the leg surgery mentioned in Woody Allen’s memoir, coming straight from Moses Farrow’s mouth, a barbaric procedure to make Ronan gain a few inches: ‘After Ronan finished law school, Mia had him undergo cosmetic surgery to extend his legs and gain a few inches in height,’ you can read in Allen’s memoir, ‘Apropos of Nothing.’ ‘I told her I couldn’t imagine putting someone through the ordeal for cosmetic reasons. My mother’s response was simple, ‘You need to be tall to have a career in politics.’ It was, of course, a long and painful process for Ronan, who had his legs broken a few times and reconstructed to lengthen them. The insurance company didn’t see the medical necessity and refused to pay for it. Of course, Mia and Ronan tell a different story but that’s what happened.’ The covering story handed out about Ronan’s knee problems, his walker, and months of reconstruction was based on his actual contracting of a disease while working abroad. This was supposed to account for the surgery, but Moses was present during much of the painful process. Meanwhile, Mia might put Ronan through this leg-breaking barbarism to satisfy her plans for his future, while I’m the one the judge sticks with a monitor.’
And these comparative photos look pretty convincing.
So, if he broke his legs to get taller and if he is wearing blue contact lenses to look more Sinatra-esque, who knows what else was done? Literary critic Daphne Merkin, who wrote this Soon-Yi profile, affirmed in this interview that Ronan was ‘Mia’s own construction,’ got a lot of facial surgery, and wears blue lenses.
Is fake-blue-eyes Ronan the son of Ol’ Blue Eyes or not? I just don’t understand Ronan’s casual tone when talking about who his real father is, and I certainly don’t understand why a DNA test, a rather common practice, has never been done. Why this hazy, stupid non-answer 34 years later? Oh, maybe because it is convenient for the Farrows? Maybe because a test would reveal that Sinatra is not his father as Oppedisano thinks? And Ronan would have to recognize he is the son of Woody Allen, someone he hates and doesn’t want to have anything to do with? It’s a curious attitude for a Pulitzer-winning journalist, who should be attached to the truth. A DNA test done in 2013 would have closed the story once for all, instead, we keep coming back to this same question, and it’s good publicity for Ronan. Talk about looking like a poor fact-checker, he doesn’t even want to do it for his own life! But that would not be the first time he is criticized for bad journalism
The Sinatra fatherhood story brings some spice, some sensationalism, and good family drama in the Farrow saga, the incertitude is good PR, and Mia’s golden boy is all about PR.