Woody Allen thought his relationship with Soon-Yi Previn would ''just be a fling''.

The legendary director has been married to 44-year-old Soon-Yi since 1997 but has admitted he thought it wouldn't be serious at the beginning.

He said: ''I started the relationship with her and I thought it would just be a fling. It wouldn't be serious, but it had a life of its own. And I never thought it would be anything more.

''Then we started going together, then we started living together, and we were enjoying it. I'm 35 years older, and somehow through no fault of mine of hers, the dynamic worked.''

And the 79-year-old star believes the success of their relationship is down to his ''paternal'' nature.

He shared: ''I was paternal. She responded to someone paternal. I liked her youth and energy.

''She deferred to me and I was happy to give her an enormous amount of decision-making just as a gift and let her take charge of many things. She flourished. It was just a good luck thing.''

And Woody has insisted last year's scandal - where he was forced to deny allegations of sexual abuse allegations made by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow - hasn't affected the numbers of people who come to watch his films.

He told NPR: ''I would say no. I always had a small audience. People did not come in great abundance and they still don't, and I've maintained the same audience over the years.

''[Speculation] has no meaning in the way I make movies too. I never see any evidence of anything in my private life resonating in film.''