Dylan Farrow was abused without question. As the conversations continue to surface online the many readers seem to be split in the discussion of Woody Allen and his adopted daughter Dylan. Dylan recently wrote an open letter detailing the alleged sexual assault from her father. Woody released a statement of denial. Just as Dylan’s accusation does not automatically find her father guilty, his denial does not guarantee his innocence.
In Dylan’s letter she speaks out publicly detailing the alleged sexual abuse she suffered at seven-years-old. This is not the first time these allegations have surfaced; it’s just the first time Dylan spoke out about it. In times past Woody denied the claim and has again called the accusation a lie and a disgrace.
Absent of concrete facts it is normal for people to take sides. Woody’s supporters have stood by “their man” and said the accusations are unfounded and opportunistic. Woody’s fans have long said that Mia was the mastermind behind the allegations and that she put their daughter up to it. They also believe that it is too much of a coincidence for the allegations to again surface just as Woody was to be honored with a lifetime achievement award.
Dylan’s supporters have no doubt that Woody is guilty. They contend that Dylan’s story is too detailed to be insincere and most do not believe she would have a reason to make up the story about her larger-than-life father if Woody was as loving as Barbara Walters and other friends make him out to be. If Dylan did not believe it to be true why would she feel compelled to speak about it as an adult?
The question is not about whether Dylan was abused rather by whom the abuse was rendered. If her father touched her inappropriately that definitely constitutes abuse, however if the allegations stem from an idea she received from her mother that would also equal abuse. Practically speaking abuse rarely happens in a public setting therefore matters can easily become muddied when dealing with public opinion. In other words, both sides of supporters are merely speculating but neither has enough evidence to judge.
Dylan deserves applause for speaking out, whether the story is true or she simply believes these things occurred. Even if Dylan was coerced with a story at seven-years-old this thought process has followed her throughout her life and has taken root in her mind as truth. To her defense far too often many larger-than-life celebrities seem to receive a pass or slap on the wrist when abuse occurs; often times causing their accusers to silenced and ostracized.
It would be unfair to not to mention how common it is when couples fall out of love for the female to become bitter and influence the children to side with them against their other parent. In the Woody and Mia case where he ends up married to Farrow’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, it is understandable why people would believe Dylan. In 1992 when Woody publicly hooked up with Previn he was a ripe 56-years-old and she was a mere 21-years-young.
It is difficult for anyone with a heart to not feel some type of empathy for Dylan and the pain she has been forced to live with. At the same time Woody’s fans are not wrong to advocate for him in the absence of a conviction in the court of law.
Leslee Dart, spokesperson for Woody, said at the initial time the allegations were presented a thorough investigation was conducted where no credible evidence was established. Experts concluded that Dylan could not distinguish between reality and fantasy or that she had been coached by her mother. Reportedly, no charges were ever filed.
On either side of this case Dylan remains the victim and was definitely abused. Whether she was coached to lie about her father as a child or if her father did indeed touch her inappropriately both of these constitute abuse. The question at this stage of Dylan Farrow’s life is not whether she was abused; the appropriate question would be by whom was she abused.
Editorial By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)