“The idea that she was molested was implanted in her by her mother,” attorney says on “Today”
Woody Allen's attorney pointedly defended the filmmaker Tuesday against allegations that he molested his adopted daughter, saying Dylan Farrow was “a pawn” of her mother, actress Mia Farrow.
Mia Farrow contended during a child custody battle with Allen in 1992 that he molested the then-7-year-old Dylan. Saturday, Dylan Farrow spoke out in a blog post, saying Allen sexually assaulted her in an attic-like room.
Allen's attorney, Elkan Abramowitz, said on NBC's “Today” that Mia Farrow had “implanted” the molestation story within her daughter at such an early age that she will always believe it is true. He steered well clear of criticizing Dylan Farrow or accusing her of dishonesty, saying he believes she believes she was molested.
“His reaction is one of overwhelming sadness because of what has happened to Dylan,” Abramowitz said of Allen. “She was a pawn in a huge fight between him and Mia Farrow years ago and the idea that she was molested was implanted in her by her mother. That memory is never going to go away. The fact that she says this now, that it had happened 20 years ago, is totally understandable.”
“In my view she's not lying,” he added. “I think she truly believes this happened. That's what the vice of this is. When you implant the story in a fragile 7-year-old's mind, it stays there forever. It never goes away.”
Abramowitz noted that a team of child abuse experts from the Yale-New Haven Hospital's sexual abuse clinic was appointed by Connecticut authorities to investigate the allegations and found no evidence Dylan Farrow was molested. They also concluded that she may have been “coached” by her mother.
The judge in the custody fight between Allen and Farrow said he was not sure he agreed with the experts’ findings, and gave Farrow custody of the couple's children. A Connecticut prosecutor, meanwhile, declined to press charges though he said he suspected Allen had molested Dylan Farrow. He said she was too fragile to testify.
Abramowitz said he believes that “a lot of the confusion about the case” springs from Allen's relatioship with Soon-Yi Previn. She was Farrow's daughter from a previous marriage, and became involved with Allen as an adult. Contrary to popular belief, Allen was not her adopted father.
“Too many people believed that Soon-Yi was his daughter and he was having a relationship with his adopted daughter,” Abramowitz said.
Allen and Previn have been married since 1997.
Asked by interviewer Savannah Guthrie if Allen might sue for defamation, Abramowitz replied, “Woody Allen is not interested in suing anybody for defamation. He was determined not to have molested his daughter 20 years ago. The case is over. There is no case. The fact that it's being brought up now is suspect. The timing is suspect.”
The attorney suggested that Dylan Farrow's public accusations are a “continuation of Mia Farrow's desire to hurt Woody Allen,” perhaps brought on by his recent accolades.
“Now Woody Allen is riding fairly high. He got the Golden Globes award for lifetime achievement, which he totally deserved, and I think it revived the anger that she has toward him,” Abramowitz said.
Farrow and her son, MSNBC host Ronan Farrow, tweeted criticisms of Allen during the ceremony.
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