A Guide To Understanding The Accusations Between The Farrow Family And Woody Allen

Woody Allen attending play opening in New York City February 2013It seems unlikely that people might not be aware of this, due to the recently blitz of media coverage, but Woody Allen was publicly accused of sexually assaulting his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow in 1992, when she was just seven years old. Woody of course denied it, while Mia Farrow stood behind her daughter, a decision that has torn the family apart from within in the two decades since the alleged abuse.

There was a great deal of coverage surrounding the accusations at the time, but in the twenty-two years that followed, the information has remained largely under the radar, returning to the surface only this year, when Woody was honored with a tribute and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes, spurring Mia’s son Ronan Farrow to tweet:

This, among other things, brought the matter back to public attention, as members of the family who had previously maintained their silence refused to do so any longer in the face of Woody receiving a tribute like that, or, in the opposite case, of seeing estranged family members speaking out against their father figure.

Because as I said earlier, Dylan’s story about her adopted father’s alleged assault –a story that she retold in a recent open letter – really did draw a dividing line down the middle of their family. Especially in light of that letter, some family members, like Mia and Ronan, stood behind Dylan…

…while others have sided with their father, firm in their belief that Dylan made the story up herself or was coached by Mia to defame Woody after she discovered his sexual relationship with another of her adopted daughters, Soon Yi Previn. Soon Yi of course sides with Woody, having been married to him since 1997, and she’s joined in condemning Dylan’s accusations by their adopted brother Moses Farrow, now thirty-six and estranged from most of his family, who told People.

“My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister. And I hated him for her for years. I see now that this was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi. Of course Woody did not molest my sister. She loved him and looked forward to seeing him when he would visit. She never hid from him until our mother succeeded in creating the atmosphere of fear and hate towards him. The day in question, there were six or seven of us in the house. We were all in public rooms and no one, not my father or sister, was off in any private spaces. My mother was conveniently out shopping. I don’t know if my sister really believes she was molested or is trying to please her mother. Pleasing my mother was very powerful motivation because to be on her wrong side was horrible.”

Subsequent to the release of that quote, Dylan has responded:

“This is such a betrayal to me and my whole family. My memories are the truth and they are mine and I will live with that for the rest of my life. My mother never coached me. She never planted false memories in my brain. My memories are mine. I remember them. She was distraught when I told her. When I came forward with my story she was hoping against hope that I had made it up. In one of the most heartbreaking conversations I have ever had, she sat me down and asked me if I was telling the truth. She said that Dad said he didn’t do anything. and I said, ‘He’s lying.’”

And with all this back and forth between family members both estranged and supportive, the one person who has stayed conspicuously silent is Woody Allen, who hasn’t spoken for himself, but released the following statement through his representative:

“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 court appointed independent experts. The experts concluded there was no credible evidence of molestation; 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.”

I don’t know what actually happened, and there are only two people on the planet who ever truly will. But if I’m being honest, the person who has my support in this is Dylan Farrow. I wasn’t there, and I don’t want to argue with you about it — that’s just my opinion based on the information I have, and my heart goes out to her and her family.

(Photo: Joseph Marzullo / WENN.com)

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    • JLH1986


      Then 41-year-old Woody said, “I’m open-minded about sex. I’m not above reproach; if anything, I’m below reproach. I mean, if I was caught in a love nest with fifteen 12-year-old girls tomorrow, people would think, yeah, I always knew that about him.”
      And now he’s “disgusted” by the letter? I guess 7 was just a smidge too young, 12 is the youngest he’ll go.

      • Alexis Rhiannon


      • JLH1986

        He is FOUL.

      • Kelly17

        It was a joke

      • Alexis Rhiannon


      • JLH1986

        Because orgies with 12 year olds are HYSTERICAL!

    • CMJ

      Apparently, the NYT is thinking about publishing his response to Dylan’s accusations…

      On a side note: Did he ever sue Vanity Fair for the original article?

    • Alyssa

      What I really hate about this is the people who conclude that Woody Allen is “innocent until proven guilty” also assume that Dylan, the alleged victim, is guilty of lying until proven innocent, and they’re railroading her because of it. It is just so disgusting to me how quickly our society tends to blame the victim. There really is no sense to it.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Yeah, you really can’t have it both ways like that.

      • Kelly17

        But technically that’s not victim blaming.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        For there to be different, harsher standards for the victim? Victim-blaming is exactly what that is.

      • Alyssa

        If you want to get technical it’s secondary victimization, which is still considered victim blaming.

    • Elizabeth Aspen

      Moses is slightly retarded so if anyone’s been misled, it’s most likely him by Woody. Also add to that the fact that out of 14 kids, only two don’t speak to Mia, one because he’s brainwashed by Woody, the other because she’s brainwashed by Woody’s woody.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        I think ‘retarded’ may not be quite the word you intended to use…

    • carrie thompson

      According to the editor of the New York Times, Woody asked them to print his response letter to Dylan. Their typical policy is not to print responses as separate articles, but feel that Woody Allen’s letter is an exception. It’s due to be printed this week, so we’ll have that to process.

      I believe that Dylan told the truth about what happened to her, because I believe that women who speak out about sexual abuse and sexual assault deserve my belief in their truth, until and unless evidence comes to light that proves they were lying. In my opinion, that evidence has not come to light in this case. There’s a very real possibility that I might be wrong in this case, but if I’m wrong, I’d rather be wrong by believing the woman who says her father sexually abused her.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Agreed. Well said.

    • disgusted

      The very fact that a father of over 40/50 years ended up having an affair with the 19 year old adopted daughter of a woman he was married to is itself very telling to me.I am strongly inclined towards the 7 year old who came out with what happened.Yes i do believe its totally disgusting to award a man with such a history.

      • mrjinks

        Yes, having the affair was disgusting.
        No, he did not have an affair with the daughter “of a woman he was married to”.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        That’s true, they were partners, not husband and wife.

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