It wasn’t too long ago that Hollywood director, Woody Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow accused him of molesting her as a child. The adopted daughter of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow penned an open letter about the abuse she alleges she endured as a child at the hands of Woody Allen. These abuse allegations first came to light in 1993, during the bitter custody battle between her mother and father. Allen was never prosecuted and has denied any wrongdoing. Dylan Farrow’s piece in The New York Times was the first time she has spoken or written publicly about the alleged abuse, in her own words. Among other things, she writes:
‘…when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.
‘For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like. I didn’t like how often he would take me away from my mom, siblings and friends to be alone with him. I didn’t like it when he would stick his thumb in my mouth. I didn’t like it when I had to get in bed with him under the sheets when he was in his underwear. I didn’t like it when he would place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out. I would hide under beds or lock myself in the bathroom to avoid these encounters, but he always found me. These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal. I thought this was how fathers doted on their daughters. But what he did to me in the attic felt different. I couldn’t keep the secret anymore.’
Farrow also called out her father’s many supporters, both the famous — like Diane Keaton, who accepted Allen’s Golden Globe on his behalf — and his fans. She writes:
‘What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?
‘Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.
‘So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormenter.
‘Are you imagining that? Now, what’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?’
Allen has spoken out to call Dylan’s allegations of child molestation “untrue and disgraceful,” signaling that he would fight renewed claims dating back to Allen’s tempestuous relationship with actress Mia Farrow in the early 1990s.
The movie director’s publicist Leslee Dart said in an email Sunday that Allen has read Dylan Farrow’s open-letter, published online Saturday by The New York Times. Dart says: “Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful.”
Allen’s lawyer, Elkan Abramowitz, also reacted:
“It is tragic that after 20 years, a story engineered by a vengeful lover resurfaces after it was fully vetted and rejected by independent authorities. The one to blame for Dylan’s distress is neither Dylan nor Woody Allen.”
Ronan Farrow, the son of Allen and Mia Farrow (though she has said her ex-husband Frank Sinatra could be the father), said on Twitter on Sunday:
“I love and support my sister and think her words speak for themselves.”
Dylan Farrow’s open-letter didn’t urge renewed legal action, but a retrial for Allen in the court of public opinion. Farrow, who now lives in Florida, is married, and goes by another name, argued for fans of Allen’s movies and actors who star in his films not to “turn a blind eye.”
On Sunday, Sony Pictures Classics, which regularly distributes Allen’s films including his latest, “Blue Jasmine,” urged caution in any rush to judgment. The company said in a statement:
“This is a very complicated situation and a tragedy for everyone involved. Mr. Allen has never been charged in relationship to any of this, and therefore deserves our presumption of innocence.”
Alec Baldwin, who has starred in Allen films, including “Blue Jasmine,” and was among those Farrow singled out in her letter, responded on Twitter to those demanding a comment from him.
“You are mistaken if you think there is a place for me, or any outsider, in this family’s issue.”