Woody Allen responded on Friday to daughter Dylan Farrow’s accusations of childhood sexual abuse in a New York Times op-ed — the same publication in which Farrow made the claim a week ago.
“Of course, I did not molest Dylan,” Allen wrote in the response.
But Dylan Farrow immediately responded with her own counterclaim, saying: “Nothing he says or writes can change the truth.”
Allen claimed the entire scandal was orchestrated by Dylan’s mother, Mia Farrow, with whom the director was in a lengthy relationship that ended bitterly in 1992, and that their children together – Ronan, Moses, and Dylan Farrow – had all been “exploited” by their vengeful mother.
“I loved [Dylan] and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter’s well-being,” Allen wrote.
The director even questioned whether Dylan Farrow wrote the open letter that appeared in the New York Times on Saturday.
“One must ask, did Dylan even write the letter or was it at least guided by her mother? Does the letter really benefit Dylan or does it simply advance her mother’s shabby agenda? That is to hurt me with a smear,” he writes.
“There is even a lame attempt to do professional damage by trying to involve movie stars, which smells a lot more like Mia than Dylan,” Allen adds, referring to a line in Dylan’s letter that directly calls out actors including Allen regular Diane Keaton and Cate Blanchett, who is in the running for Best Actress at this year’s Academy Awards for her performance in Allen’s “Blue Jasmine.”
The scandal has been an uncomfortable one for all of Hollywood. Allen was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes in January, which prompted Mia Farrow to tweet that she would be turning off the broadcast.
Son Ronan sent a tweet blasting the Globes for honoring his estranged father: “Missed the Woody Allen tribute – did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?” Ronan Farrow wrote on Jan. 13, referring to Dylan’s accusations.
Stars have weighed in on the sensitive subject as best they could. Barbara Walters gave an ardent defense of Allen on ABC’s “The View” this week, saying he is “a good man,” while “View” guest Rosie O’Donnell, herself a victim of sexual abuse, said she firmly believed Dylan.
“No one wants to discourage abuse victims from speaking out, but one must bear in mind that sometimes there are people who are falsely accused and that is also a terribly destructive thing,” Allen wrote, adding that the op-ed would be his final word on the matter.
Once again, Woody Allen is attacking me and my family in an effort to discredit and silence me – but nothing he says or writes can change the truth. For 20 years, I have never wavered in describing what he did to me. I will carry the memories of surviving these experiences for the rest of my life.
His op-ed is the latest rehash of the same legalese, distortions, and outright lies he has leveled at me for the past 20 years. He insists my mother brought criminal charges – in fact, it was a pediatrician who reported the incident to the police based on my firsthand account. He suggests that no one complained of his misconduct prior to his assault on me – court documents show that he was in treatment for what his own therapist described as “inappropriate” behavior with me from as early as 1991. He offers a carefully worded claim that he passed a lie detector test – in fact, he refused to take the test administered by the state police (he hired someone to administer his own test, which authorities refused to accept as evidence). These and other misrepresentations have been rebutted in more detail by independent, highly respected journalists, including this most recent article here: http://www.vanityfair.com/
With all the attempts to misrepresent the facts, it is important to be reminded of the truth contained in court documents from the only final ruling in this case, by the New York Supreme Court in 1992. In denying my father all access to me, that court:
- Debunked the “experts” my father claims exonerated him, calling them “colored by their loyalty to Mr. Allen”, criticizing the author of their report (who never met me) for destroying all supporting documentation, and calling their conclusions “sanitized and therefore less credible”.
- Included testimony from babysitters who witnessed inappropriate sexual behavior by my father toward me.
- Found that “there is no credible evidence to support Mr. Allen’s contention that Ms. Farrow coached Dylan or that Ms. Farrow acted upon a desire for revenge against him for seducing Soon-Yi. Mr. Allen’s resort to the stereotypical ‘woman scorned’ defense is an injudicious attempt to divert attention from his failure to act as a responsible parent and adult.”
- Concluded that the evidence “…proves that Mr. Allen’s behavior toward Dylan was grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect her.”
- Finally, the Connecticut State prosecutor found “probable cause” to prosecute, but made the decision not to in an effort to protect “the child victim”, given my fragile state.
From the bottom of my heart, I will be forever grateful for the outpouring of support I have received from survivors and countless others. If speaking out about my experience can help others stand up to their tormentors, it will be worth the pain and suffering my father continues to inflict on me. Woody Allen has an arsenal of lawyers and publicists but the one thing he does not have on his side is the truth. I hope this is the end of his vicious attacks and of the media campaign by his lawyers and publicists, as he’s promised. I won’t let the truth be buried and I won’t be silenced.