Woody Allen is one of the fair haired icons of Hollywood, but, not everyone is a fan; for instance, his daughter is telling the world about sexual abuse that happened over 21 years ago…again. Dylan Farrow is 28 years-old and is the jointly adopted child of Mia Farrow, a member of the Hollywood elite and Woody Allen. The 78 year-old film auteur and Farrow got together as a couple back in 1980; the two had a relationship that lasted till 1992. Their twelve year partnership, during which time the two never married, ended quickly and dramatically when Mia found nude pictures, taken by Allen, of one of her adopted children Soon-Yi Previn who was about 20 years-old at the time. In the same year that Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi was made public, Dylan Farrow made allegations that her adoptive father had sexually abused her. In a 2013 Vanity Fair feature about Mia Farrow and her extended brood; Mia, Dylan, and the other children mentioned the alleged abuse.
Mia Farrow reacted badly to both of these 1992 discoveries and not too surprisingly she ended her relationship with Allen. What is surprising about the entire Soon-Yi affair is that Allen actually married his very much younger lover and, to date, the two are still married. Woody and Mia never “tied-the-knot” and maintained separate residences throughout their time together. The affair made international headlines and Farrow was quick to demonize Allen and went so far as to say that Soon-Yi was challenged “mentally” and that Woody had taken advantage of that fact. Mia and Woody did have one child together Satchel Farrow. Satchel later changed his name, or at least preferred to be known as, Ronan Seamus Farrow, he is estranged from his biological father.
Obviously, the 26 year-old brother of adopted sister Dylan, has taken his mother’s side in the Soon-Yi affair, as well as his sister’s, and he has publicly castigated his father on several occasions. Recently, Ronan tweeted about Dylan’s allegations during the 71st Annual Golden Globes Awards show when Woody Allen received the Cecil B. DeMille Award to honor his career. Farrow went onto Twitter to ask whether the tribute included information that a 7 year-old had accused him of sexually abusing her, before or after the Annie Hall reference in the tribute.
Dylan Farrow, who mentioned the “abuse” last year in the Vanity Fair magazine interview, posted an open letter which was posted in The New York Times on Saturday, February 1, 2014. In the letter Woody Allen’s Daughter tells of the 21 year-old abuse that took place, she says, at the hands of her adoptive dad. She tells of something happening in an attic room while she was instructed to watch an electric train go around on its tracks. Dylan also speaks of other behaviour that, at best, sounds odd and, at worst, sounds perverted. She tells of his breathing in and out on her “lap.” Allen was investigated in 1992 after his and Mia’s adoptive daughter made her initial allegations. At the time, Frank S. Maco, who was the Litchfield County state attorney gave a statement to the press that said there was enough “probable cause” to open a full investigation, but, the attorney made the decision to leave things as they were. A move that was criticized at the time.
This latest “naming and shaming” drill by Dylan Farrow goes so far as to accuse the Hollywood community of ignoring “the truth” of the accusations. She mentions Scarlett Johansson, Cate Blanchett and Emma Stone before moving onto Diane Keaton an old flame of Allen’s and the star who accepted the award for Woody on the night of the ceremony. Farrow asks if Keaton remembers her as a little girl. Allen has always denied the allegations and in 2011, mentioned the Soon-Yi affair in a 2011 interview where he asked what was so scandalous about meeting, falling in love and marrying the girl.
In such a bitter vitriolic event as Woody Allen’s affair with the 20 year-old adopted child of Mia, and the resulting anguish, it is too easy to believe that, just maybe, the very young Dylan could have been confused about what really happened. Certainly other spurned, and very angry, partners have attempted to drag their former lover’s name through the mud after an relationship has ended via their children. A child can be “coached” by an adult into believing quite horrific things have happened. Take, for example, the day care center hysteria that transpired in Kern County, back in the 1980’s, where allegations of ritualistic sexual abuse resulted in convictions of several individuals that were later overturned. This case, however, began an almost “witch hunt” atmosphere over the next 10 years where 17 other institutes and individuals were accused of similar crimes. It later transpired that investigators were giving the children of these cases “false memories” and that many, like the Kern county case, were based on false allegations.
None of these cases mentioned are done so to for the purpose of diminishing Dylan Farrow’s childhood memories of Woody Allen sexually abusing her. The fact that she has told of the abuse again shows that she apparently believes it happened as do her other siblings. Ronan Farrow obviously believes his sister and Mia Farrow has supported her daughter’s allegations since they were initially made over 21 years ago. Thus far, the only clue that can be gleaned from the available information is that in 1992 probable cause was there, but, apparently there was not enough evidence to ensure a conviction. So far, the only thing that Woody Allen appears to be guilty of is very poor judgement while he was with Mia Farrow. Allen has so far refused to comment on the allegations.
By Michael Smith