Woody Allen Timeline: What Happened to the 1992 Allegations

Woody Allen Timeline: What Happened to the 1992 Allegations

A doctor said Mia Farrow coached her daughter. A prosecutor disagreed

What happened between Woody Allen and his adopted daughter one afternoon in August 1992 — and whether anything happened at all — has been in dispute for more than two decades.

According to a November 1992 Vanity Fair article that meticulously recounted the allegations against Allen, Dylan Farrow, then 7, told her adoptive mother, Mia Farrow, that her adoptive father, Allen, had taken her to an attic-like area of their Connecticut house, told her to remain still, and touched her “private part.” The child said he promised to take her to Paris and let her be in a movie.

Also read: Barbara Walters Vociferously Defends Woody Allen Over Sexual Abuse Claims (Video)

On Saturday, Dylan Farrow gave an account strikingly consistent with the one in Vanity Fair, including the details about the attic-like space and the promise of a trip to Paris. She added a detail not included in the 1992 piece: watching toy trains as Allen abused her. She described what Allen allegedly did to her as sexual assault.

But Allen has never been charged, and authorities at the time of the allegations seemed torn on whether he should be. A doctor in the couple's custody fight theorized that Mia Farrow may have coached her daughter. A prosecutor said he declined to charge Allen only because he wanted to spare Dylan Farrow from re-living the trauma — which she now says she has had to re-live anyway, for years.

Also read: Woody Allen: One Way He Could Still Be Prosecuted

“There were experts willing to attack my credibility. There were doctors willing to gaslight an abused child,” she said in her account published by the New York Times on Saturday.

Here is a timeline of the original allegations against Allen, and his contentious parting with Farrow:

February 1992: Mia Farrow discovers nude photos of her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, in Allen's home. He soon confesses to an affair with Previn, who was roughly 20 at the time. (Her exact age is unknown because of the circumstances of her adoption.)

Also read: Woody Allen Fires Back on Dylan Farrow Molestation Allegations: ‘Untrue,’ ‘Disgraceful’

Aug. 5, 1992: Dylan Farrow tells her mother that Allen touched her inappropriately in the attic-like space. According to Vanity Fair, Allen and Mia Farrow had been preparing to sign an elaborate child-support-and-custody agreement the next day, Aug.6, which would have given Mia Farrow $6,000 a month for the support of Satchel, their biological child, and their son, 15-year-old Moses. Allen and Farrow had adopted both Moses and Dylan. (Satchel has since changed his name to Ronan, and there have been reports that Frank Sinatra, not Allen, is his biological father.)

Aug. 13, 1992: Allen's lawyers, notified of the allegation, pre-emptively file a custody suit against Farrow, accusing her of being an unfit mother.

August 1992-1993: Connecticut police and prosecutors investigate the abuse claims against Allen. The November Vanity Fair article says Dylan Farrow was prepared at the time to take the stand and testify against Allen.

May 1993: During the custody fight, a doctor who led the investigation and interviewed Dylan Farrow nine times says he has doubts about her allegations against Allen. Dr. John M. Leventhal says she has changed key details, like whether Allen touched her vagina, and said her accounts had a “rehearsed quality.”

“We had two hypotheses: one, that these were statements that were made by an emotionally disturbed child and then became fixed in her mind,” says Leventhal, according to the New York Times.“And the other hypothesis was that she was coached or influenced by her mother. We did not come to a firm conclusion. We think that it was probably a combination.”

Levanthal did not immediately respond to attempts by TheWrap to reach him Monday.

June 1993: In a scathing judgment against Allen, a Manhattan judge rules that Farrow should receive custody of the children, and says he is not convinced “that the evidence proves conclusively that there was no sexual abuse.” The judge also says the psychotherapists who interviewed Dylan Farrow had their judgement “colored by their loyalty to Mr. Allen,” according to the Times.

The judge also blasts Allen for his relationship with Previn, saying it harmed both her and her adoptive siblings. “Having isolated Soon-Yi from her family, he left her with no visible support system,” Justice Elliott Wilk writes.

September 1993: Connecticut state's attorney Frank S. Maco announces that while he found “probable cause” to prosecute Allen, he is dropping the case because Dylan was too “fragile” to deal with a trial. Mia Farrow agrees with the decision, he says.

Dylan Farrow provided a similar account in her statement Saturday: “After a custody hearing denied my father visitation rights, my mother declined to pursue criminal charges, despite findings of probable cause by the State of Connecticut – due to, in the words of the prosecutor, the fragility of the ‘child victim,'” she wrote.

Maco recently told People that Dylan was “traumatized to the extent that I did not have a confident witness to testify in any court setting, whether that's a closed courtroom or an open courtroom.”

Allen later condemns Maco as “cowardly, dishonest and irresponsible” for saying he had “probable cause” without releasing his evidence.

Dec. 24, 1997: Allen and Previn marry.

Feb. 1, 2014: Dylan Farrow speaks out about the alleged abuse on the blog of New York Times’ columnist Nicholas Kristof.


  • Larry

    What's with all The Wrap's attacks on Woody Allen. Are you in Mia's pocket like Kristof? Really? You're better than this. There's alot more context here than your one-sided coverage would suggest.

    • tim.molloy

      Huh? This is completely even-handed. I wrote it and have no idea who's telling the truth.

      • Ginny

        You think it's even handed because you wrote it.

      • David

        It isn't at all even-handed, it's tabloid journalism at its worst and Sharon should be ashamed of herself.

      • Stuart @

        Even handed? You must be joking or unable to read your own script. Woody portrayed constantly as the “bad guy” with sensationalist allegations that “a Manhatten judge “blasted” Allen and portraying Mia as the poor put-upon wife. The worst, your contention that Allen can “still be prosecuted”. The real culprit here is yourself and your inability to take responsibility for what you've chosen on your own free will to put on paper.

        • tim.molloy

          Great “selective” reading “skills,” Mr. Zagat. Did you “miss” the part about the doctor “taking” Allen's side? I can randomly “use” quotations marks “too.”

          • David

            You and your tabloid articles are “damaging” The Wrap's “brand” far more than you realize. Keep up the “good work”.

    • ming_mow

      Birds of same feathers defend each other. Pedo Woody is a pervert so are you

      • whatevs

        ming_mow, when was the last time you molested a child? Maybe we should be sending someone over to your house to arrest you for molestation and pedophilia since you're probably a pedo as well

        • ming_mow

          are there such thing as a 13yo pedo? I will report you to the FBI I'm certain you are a pedophile judging the history of your google searches you are a pervert

          • Derek_V

            Yes there are because you are a teenager. And a child is a human being up to twelve years old. You sick twisted little pervert. Better to lock you up now.

          • ming_mow

            you and your fellow pedo should be the one that needs to be locked up and your pedo idol Woody

          • R

            You aren't old enough to discuss this and clearly aren't old enough to formulate a full thought, so I don't think you should be insulting people. Please go back to your studies and let the adults discuss adult topics.

          • ming_mow

            oh I didn't know perverts like you are so sensitive. lol

      • Guest

        Ming mow molested me when I was 5 years old.

  • cooldude

    who knows if the allegations are true. wheres the proof. word of mouth won't hold up in court without proof.

  • rob

    Who really knows? I hope it's not true. It's easy to assume guilt. If a person could be evil enough to molest a child, couldn't another person presumably also be evil enough to brainwash a child? Either way, someone is evil, and one of them abused a child. It's sad either way.

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    • boysenberry

      Oh, I think he did it. Its hell to go against a Hollywood icon, but Dylan did it. Good for her.
      Of course Hoolyweird will protect little woody, one of their own. I always thought he and his movies were kind of creepy.

  • Daniel122

    Why would he go to mia's house the day before the custody hearing to take his daughter to the attic to assault her…doesn't make logical sense. They should all take a lie detector…oh wait allen already did that 20 years ago.

    • Steven Kaye

      And a “closet-like attic” at that. The whole story is garbage.

      • Jerry Belle

        How did the police find Woody's prints in the space? Account for that please? Especially when Woody said he'd never been in there and when told they had his prints, he suddenly blurted something to the effect of Well they might be mine and trailed off….

    • Edward50

      Mia Farrow refused to take a lie detector test. I'm not buying the abuse story, timing just a little too perfect, way too many inconsistencies and no evidence. I don't think that anyone who really looks at this case, reads all sides, could actually believe it occurred. Sadly, this whole child sex abuse arena is so fraught with falsehoods such as “recovered memories,” the “satanic ritual abuse” scare of the 1980's and other such nonsense that the real victims of child sexual abuse get lost in the fray. Yes there are real victims and those are the ones we should be concerned about.

      • Jerry Belle

        Cite a source for your statement that she would not take a lie detector….not that they carry any weight in a court of law…

        • Edward50

          Google “The Woody Allen Allegations: Not so fast.” This was in the Daily Beast. This comment section will not let me post a link

      • Hamsa

        Wow…you truly are an idiot. You should be ashamed.

    • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

      Is there any official record of this test or what questions it contained?

    • Jerry Belle

      Cite your source for this alleged lie detector…

      • Daniel122

        Well considering I was alive 20 years ago and remember the news reports I guess I am my own source. I encourage you to do your own research…maybe go to the local library and look up the old news reports on microfiche…if you know what that is. But if you need something in black and white and don't want to do the research yourself, you can go to the dailybeast article writen a few days ago.

        • Hamsa

          So you have absolutely no evidence/citations..um, ok. And all you have to do is Google it (microfiche hasn't existed in years). Google is your friend.

          • Daniel122

            Citation…read the dailybeast article(bob weide) regarding this story that came out a few days ago.
            Ps: microfiche was a joke just like u! Oh and google's algorithm tends to lean to the left…especially their news section…so i will find my info elsewhere. Thanks though.

        • OL

          I was alive 20 years ago and The Family is screwed up I can only Say that Judge Eliot Wilkes is an excellent Judge I was before him for Guardianship of an Uncle he was really excellent.

          • Maverick99

            I read the judgment and was shocked by his conclusions. I was especially puzzled by his arrogant conclusion that Woody should be punished because his suit for custody had no merit. It was obvious that Allen would lose contact with his kids if he did not have custody – Mia's propaganda campaign would alienate his children from him. This is exactly what happened. The court's decision expelled Allen from his children's lives,and failed to establish any plan for healing. The details of the judgment left me with the impression that it was written by someone else and signed off on by the judge. Anyone who has experienced family court has probably left disappointed with the long term results.

          • Marie Taylor

            Legally, Woody Allen filed a frivolous lawsuit since he had a written agreement not to contest custody. When you file a suit contrary to a contract, it is frivolous.

            And judges scold people that file frivolous lawsuits. That's just the way it is.

          • Maverick99

            Allen had also signed a separate agreement that voided the ‘no contest’ agreement. Allen's suit for custody might have been ill-advised, but it wasn't frivolous. He filed the suit the same day that Mia's lawyers were attempting to blackmail him: they wanted a $7M lump sum payment to drop the Dylan assault allegation.

  • mheister

    Um – The Wrap completely skips over Allen's 1992 Sixty Minutes interview, as well as the most recent piece in the Daily Beast. This, along with the Wrap's suggestion that Allen could still be prosecuted if Dylan claims Allen abused her in the state of New York, are sensationalistic tabloid hit pieces designed to draw clicks to a site that has failed to effectively compete in the more serious entertainment industry journalism market.

    • Calmdown

      Agreed. The Wrap is loosing credibility as a rapid pace.

      • Jerry Belle

        The CRAP is more like it.

  • peterb

    I'm beginning to wonder what Molloy's motivation is here. Atleast an article a day and clearly tabloid journalism at that. All conjecture and assumption without anything concrete. Whatever happened occurred in the midst of a very contentious break-up between Farrow and Allen. Without the conjecture we can only hope the truth will be revealed. Clearly, one of the two adults involved messed with a child's psyche.

    • tim.molloy

      The motivation is providing a timeline of the 1992 charges. I honestly have no opinion of whether or not this occurred. Anyone not involved in the case who thinks they've cracked it from a distance is kind of a nutjob.

  • PandoraYoung

    Check your facts, Mr. Malloy. Dr. John M. Leventhal never interviewed Dylan Farrow. He headed the hospital team that interviewed Dylan nine times, but never spoke to her himself. The team destroyed their notes on the interviews after releasing their statement. They ignored instructions from the police who had hired them, and sent their statement directly to Woody Allen. The judge presiding over the custody hearing found the report suspect.

    • Derek_V


  • MonsieurVerdoux

    If Sinatra is the father of Farrow's son, as she now says may be possible, doesn't she owe Allen some major money for child support?

    • Derek_V

      He is Woody's son. That story was just created to launch Ronan's career. And look! It worked. MSNBC show coming up.

      • OL


      • boysenberry

        At least he doesn't look like him, so that makes me wonder.
        Allen in one ugly creepy looking dude.

  • mikkomfi

    Having read many other articles about this thing, I find this writing quite ok and objective gathering of the facts. I just read some time ago an article from Yahoo, and it was subjective and very irresponsible and did not even contain the name of the writer of the article! (which I would assume to be there always) Makes one wonder about the journalism.

    Here we have the name of the writer and who seems to be willing to comment also, great!

    I would have added into the article, that both Mia and Woody were asked, if they want to participate lying tests, and Woody agreed and passed the tests, and Mia refused to do them.

    Also, whenever there are celebrities involved, judges etc many times want to have their 15-minutes-famous moment and will go against the common ethics, so I would have included also that “A disciplinary panel found that Maco may have prejudiced the ongoing custody fight between Allen and Mia Farrow by making an accusation without formal charges”. (Anyone of has doubts of this and that, but one should either charge or not, and not something inbetween)

    Maybe I would have included also:
    Two of Mia's own nanny's (who never worked for Allen before or since) testified that they thought the girl had been coached by Mia. Mia Farrow's own brother, John Charles Villiers-Farrow, is serving a 10 year sentence for child rape and she has never once condemned him in public.

    Many seem to have a conviction, that “Hollywood Woody Allen has bought his way out of this”, and that this is the situation “rich and influential against poor, weak and non influential”. But Mia Farrow is the daughter of Tarzan's Jane actress Maureen O'Sullivan, ex-wife of Frank Sinatra and the star of her own right in Hollywood, so it is “rich and influential against rich and influential”. That is why, I do not believe any conspiracy theories, that Allen would have bought his way out and that the investigations would have favoured him. Vice versa, I think that Farrow was more successful in using her influence.

    I also would like to note, that when in some articles it has been stated, that Allen and Farrow were “leading family life in 1980's” (although living separately), Mia Farrow is not sure, who is the father of her son (born 1987) and has said, that it can be Sinatra also. To me this tells, that Allen and Farrow did not have much of a relationship anymore in 1987.

    On the whole, I would have more concentrated in what were the results of investigations vs. what some entertainment magazines have said.

    • mikkomfi

      I will add this comment by another commentator about this article:

      It's not that objective. It leaves out the two nannies who quite
      Farrow's employ because they claimed she was pressuring them to lie
      about Allen being alone with Dylan. They also left out the part where
      the DA was investigated and forced into retirement for his claims about
      there being “probably cause”. And the most definitely left out the part
      where Moses Farrow eventually cut off all ties with Mia and publicly
      stated that she had spent that entire summer brainwashing the children
      to hate and fear Allen.

      Mostly they just copied the timeline from the original Vanity Fair article–often word for word.

  • Jim

    I cannot wait for Woody Allen to received the Thalberg Award and Honory Oscar, the Mia Farrow family will come forward with the fact that “Rosemary's Baby” was based on a true story.

    Hey! Give him one of those Michael Jackson awards, too.

  • Jerry Belle

    This is written by a fan apparently, since Tim Molloy could never pass for a true objective journalist that would write “….and there have been reports that Frank Sinatra, not Allen, is his biological father.”!? Only the rumors that help Woody are okay to Molloy…the whole fantasy Molloy weaves is slanted, biased, and sheer garbage. Sorry I came here trying to see if Woody ever passed a lie detector test and google referred me to this crap….smh.

  • Jawsphobia

    One thing missing from the timeline is the moment after Woody was advised of the allegations — when instead of his usual calls from Mia (like, “I have something nasty planned for you. You took my daughter so I'm going to take yours) she phoned him to ask about costume fittings, still expecting to shoot in five weeks for Manhattan Murder Mystery. She apparently expected to still shoot a movie with him? Naturally it had to be recast. And also, shortly before she found the photos of Soon-Yi Mia had submitted an affidavit in support of Woody to adopt Dylan, so it is unlikely that abuse had happened beyond that time because there would be ample opportunity for her to give hints to her mother if she was not okay with having Woody as a dad. And this article states that Soon-Yi was isolated from Mia, but as a 20 year old woman with some means she and Mia could have still kept contact with each other. If Soon-Yi did not have a strong bond with her, or had received violence from her (as she alleges) that might explain this never cooling off.

    • Glory

      All of those are allegations about Mia by Woody Allen that haven't been substantiated or corroborated by anyone else but Woody Allen in that 60 Minutes interview. Also, just because Dylan didn't say anything when Mia submitted the affidavit that doesn't indicate a 7 year old girl could understand the implications of that or express how she felt. Dylan has said recently that the molestation she alleges occurred made her uncomfortable but that she wasn't sure it was unusual until she innocently asked her mother if that's what her father would do to her as a child.

      • Jawsphobia

        Glory, all of Woody's statements about Mia are easily substantiated. They even SHOW the valentine with knives. The affidavit would exit. The costume department from Manhattan Murder Mystery could likely attest to Mia making an appointment and when. You want to believe Mia is a heroine and Woody a monster. I see Woody as neutral and Mia as the monster. There is a huge gulf of difference between liking young WOMEN and someone viewing a 7 year old, which is non-erotic, that way. And I heard of no Dylan details until Mia published What Falls Away. Media focus was on Soon-Yi. Mia has definitely used Dylan, and in the worst theory to boost her public profile and that of Ronan who is starting a talk show (snore) coasting on Woody once again. And she clearly wanted the Golden Globes to honor him or she would not have signed off on one of her clips.

        • Glory

          I have to disagree. During the court case the judge indicated that he wasn't convinced the abuse claims were invalidated by the psychiatrists who assessed Woody Allen. The state attorney of CT also asserted that there was probable cause and was about to prosecute Woody. Those are two people who are far outside of Mia's influence and all of the evidence they dealt with was on the record, it was testimony. One angry valentine is hardly a blip on the radar compared to that. Had Woody any evidence of any of the things you mentioned it would've persuaded more people of Mia's potential ineptitude in the judicial and yet he couldn't and didn't.

          Also, Ronan in no way has to “coast” on Woody. He's a genius who went to college when he was barely in the double digits, he worked with Hilary Clinton, he's a humanitarian, and is a Rhodes Scholar at 26.

          • Madlymad

            Doesn't mean Ronan and Mia are not voracious opportunists.

          • Glory

            Cheap shot and a snap judgement too.

  • anneb

    What is certain in this case is that the family is a bunch of meshugenahs.

  • OL

    Both Mia and Woody are wackos common its obvious their penchant for little kiddies is obvious. They are both not adults they live in that make believe world.. The truth is Woody Molested Dylan and Mia allowed it until Soon Yi or Woody Molested Dylan and Married Soon Yi to cover up abuse. I am sure that Sinatra's family will avoid these people like the plague.What a bunch of Creeps.