“What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?” asks Dylan Farrow
Woody Allen’s adopted daughter Dylan Farrow reached out to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof to help her share her story alleging that she was molested by the legendary director.
In 1992, when she was seven years old, Farrow claimed Allen committed a sexual assault that included “inappropriate touching,” and led to a diagnosis of PTSD years later.
“When I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.”
Allen, who has long denied the allegations, has never been convicted of a crime and is innocent in the eyes of the law. A representative for the director did not immediately respond to TheWrap‘s request for comment.
Farrow excoriates Hollywood for gifting Allen with another Oscar nomination for his “Blue Jasmine” screenplay.
“What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me,” Farrow writes emotionally, citing actors who have worked with Allen recently.
“I know it’s ‘he said, she said. But, to me, it’s black and white, because I was there,” Farrow wrote, adding an explanation as to the timing, which coincides with Allen’s recent Golden Globe honor. “I was thinking, if I don’t speak out, I’ll regret it on my death bed.”
Kristof is a family friend of the Farrows, which is why Dylan reached out to him. Farrow is a 28 year-old writer/artist who is currently married and living in Florida under a different name.
That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. 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 an eating disorder. I began cutting myself.
That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, “who can say what happened,” to pretend that nothing was wrong. Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines. Each time I saw my abuser’s face — on a poster, on a T-shirt, on television — I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart.
This time, I refuse to fall apart. For so long, Woody Allen’s acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away. But the survivors of sexual abuse who have reached out to me — to support me and to share their fears of coming forward, of being called a liar, of being told their memories aren’t their memories — have given me a reason to not be silent, if only so others know that they don’t have to be silent either.
Today, I consider myself lucky. I am happily married. I have the support of my amazing brothers and sisters. I have a mother who found within herself a well of fortitude that saved us from the chaos a predator brought into our home.
But others are still scared, vulnerable, and struggling for the courage to tell the truth. The message that Hollywood sends matters for them.
The full letter can be found at the New York Times.
[PHOTO CREDIT: FRANCES SILVER/NEW YORK TIMES]