Award-winning director Woody Allen has responded to allegations that he molested Dylan Farrow (the adopted daughter of Allen and Mia Farrow) when she was a child.
His lengthy written response, published by the New York Times on Friday night, was prompted by Farrow’s own open letter in the Times, which was published last weekend. In her letter, she alleged that Allen has molested her in a closet when she was seven years old, as well as performed other abusive acts during her childhood.
Allen’s response begins:
TWENTY-ONE years ago, when I first heard Mia Farrow had accused me of child molestation, I found the idea so ludicrous I didn’t give it a second thought.
He then asserts that Mia Farrow manipulated Dylan into telling doctors that Allen had abused her. He writes:
Mia insisted that I had abused Dylan and took her immediately to a doctor to be examined. Dylan told the doctor she had not been molested. Mia then took Dylan out for ice cream, and when she came back with her the child had changed her story. The police began their investigation.
This directly contradicts Dylan’s version of the story, in which she described being made to “recount [her] story over and over again, to doctor after doctor, pushed to see if [she’d] admit [she] was lying.”
Furthermore, Allen argues that the very nature of the alleged assault (in a small, attic-like closet) is impossible, because he suffers from claustrophobia. He goes so far as to say that the idea for what Allen asserts is a fabrication came from a Dory Previn song titled ‘With My Daddy in the Attic’, which was on the same record as a song Previn wrote about Mia engaging in an affair with her husband.
Throughout the piece, Allen makes reference to Moses Farrow, the son from his relationship with Mia that he is still in regular contact with.
Moses, and Allen’s current wife/Mia’s adoptive daughter, Soon-Yi, support Allen’s version of events. Moses believes that Mia manipulated Dylan and his youngest brother Ronan (who was four at the time of the alleged assault) into hating their father.
Allen concludes his response with a plea for Dylan to eventually reconnect with her family, as well as a firm statement that this will be his final comment on the matter:
Of course, I did not molest Dylan. I loved her and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter’s well-being. Being taught to hate your father and made to believe he molested you has already taken a psychological toll on this lovely young woman, and Soon-Yi and I are both hoping that one day she will understand who has really made her a victim and reconnect with us, as Moses has, in a loving, productive way. No one wants to discourage abuse victims from speaking out, but one must bear in mind that sometimes there are people who are falsely accused and that is also a terribly destructive thing. (This piece will be my final word on this entire matter and no one will be responding on my behalf to any further comments on it by any party. Enough people have been hurt.)
Interestingly, Allen made no attempt to defend the individual celebrities he had worked with (such as Australian actress Cate Blanchett) whom Dylan called on to boycott his productions.
UPDATE: Dylan Farrow has responded to Woody Allen’s op-ed. She told The Hollywood Reporter that his piece was “the latest rehash of the same legalese, distortions, and outright lies he has levelled at [her] for the past 20 years.”
She added: “I have never wavered in describing what he did to me. I will carry the memories of surviving these experiences for the rest of my life.”