Nominated for an Academy Award for best picture, best director, best actress and best supporting actress for “Blue Jasmine,” 76-year-old movie director icon Woody Allen had the indignity of his adopted daughter, with former partner Mia Farrow, accuse him of child molestation. Reported by Nicholas Kristof Feb. 1 in the New York Times, Dylan Farrow accused Allen of molesting her in the attic of her mother Mia Farrow’s home in 1992 at age seven. “Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful. He will be responding very soon. In the meantime, it is essential that your coverage make the following facts clear: At the time, a thorough investigation was conducted by a court appointed independent experts, the experts concluded there was no credible evidence of molestation . . . “ said Allen spokeswoman Leslee Dart, refuting the charges as Allen did in 1993.
Publishing the reasons why law enforcement didn’t follow through doesn’t rule out that something happened, including the alleged molestation. Telling the public “that Dylan Farrow had an inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality; and that Dylan Farrow had likely been coached by her mother Mia Farrow. No charges were ever filed,” said Dart, proving nothing other than clever PR. Kristof published in the New York Times Dylan’s firsthand recollection of what happened to her in 1992. “He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s train set. Then sexually assaulted me,” said Dylan in Kristof’s blog. Allen had an affair with Mia’s 19-year-old adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, in effect ending her relationship to Allen. At the time of their split and custody battle in 1993, Mia raised Dylan’s child sexual abuse with New York authorities.
While Allen’s spokeswoman dismissed Dylan’s charges out-of-and, acting Justice Eliot Wilk of New York’s State Supreme Court said in 1993, “It was unlikely that Mr. Allen could be prosecuted for sexual abuse based on the evidence,” a very different story than the one given by Allen’s spokeswoman. “A team of investigators from Yale-New Haven Hospital that was retained by the Connecticut State Police subsequently concluded Dylan had not been abused,” according to a statement published in 1992 in the New York Times. Wilk’s final remarks left some doubt. “But while a team of experts concluded that Dylan was not abused, the judge said he found the evidence inconclusive,” telling a different story. How long Allen and Soon-Yi Previn were sexually involved before they announced they’d be move in with each other is anyone’s guess. Allen’s denials don’t rule out that something happened.
When you consider that Allen knew Soon-Yi since she was 10-years-old, it raises some doubts about when the 24-time Academy Award-nominated director developed his attraction, eventually getting romantically involved. When Allen was honored for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globes last month, another of Mia’s adopted children, Ronan, tweeted, “Missed the Woody Allen tribute—did they put in the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?” “Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up,” wrote Dylan, appearing in Kristof’s column. Dylan attributes her various mental problems to Allen’s molestation. “I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed and eating disorder. I began cutting myself,” confessed Dylan.
Whether or not Dylan’s problems were attributable to Allen’s alleged molestation is anyone’s guess. She certainly exhibits symptoms of child sexual abuse. Dylan finds herself caught between a rock and a hard place, getting many of Allen’s leading ladies and men to take notice. “You are mistaken if you think there is a place for me, or any outsider, in this family’s issues,” wrote “Blue Jasmine” co-star Alec Baldwin, staying out of the controversy. Accusing stars of “turning a blind eye” to sexual abuse allegations, Dylan sought to blackball Allen from making more movies. “It’s been a long and painful situation for the family, and I hope they find some resolution and peace,” said 2014 Best Actress nominee Cate Blanchett, who stared in Allen’s “Blue Jamine.” Dredging up old sex abuse allegations certainly discourages Allen from showing up at the 2014 Academy Awards.
Like 80-year-old Hollywood fugitive director Roman Polanski, Allen finds himself battling the burden of proof regarding Dylan’s allegations of child sexual abuse. While New York prosecutors didn’t find enough evidence back in 1993 to pursue charges, it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Retired Connecticut State Atty. Gen. Frank Maco said he thought there was probable cause to arrest Allen in 1993. “I hope she [Dylan] had access to my written statement of decision. My statement is as valid today as it was 20 years ago,” said Maco, explaining he didn’t press charges at Mia Farrow’s request. “Woody Allen was never convicted of a crime . . .” said Dylan, confessing about the damage it’s caused her life. ABC’s Dan Abrams thinks Dylan’s new details will dog Allen in the press for some time to come. Whatever the truth, it does give Academy members something to think about.
About the Author
John M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and global news. He’s editor of OnlineColumnist.com and author of Dodging The Bullet and Operation Charisma.