Woody Allen's Adoptive Daughter Talks About Sexual Abuse for First Time

woody allenThis year at the Golden Globes filmmaker Woody Allen was honored with a lifetime achievement award. In the wake of that honor his adoptive daughter, Dylan Allen, penned an open letter addressing her allegations that he sexually abused her at the age of 7. The director has always denied these allegations, and he has never been prosecuted for them. Do you believe Dylan? Is she fabricating or imagining her story? Or is one of the greatest film directors we know keeping a horrifying secret? After reading Dylan's letter, it's hard to shake the doubts.

What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: 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.

So begins Dylan's letter, published in the New York Times. The stories of the alleged sexual abuse surfaced in 1993, and then faded. Everyone either forgot or ... there's an entire generation of younger fans who never even heard about the accusations. Apparently there was enough to the story to deny Allen visitation rights after his split with girlfriend Mia Farrow, Dylan's mother. But criminal charges were never brought against Allen. In her letter, Dylan describes the psychological trauma she has suffered in the years since.

During the Golden Globes, Allen's one (supposedly) biological child, Rowan, tweeted a reminder.

Allen will always be haunted by the allegations of abuse. And his fans will always be haunted by them as well. Who can think of Dylan and not also conjure up the disturbingly young teenage girlfriend played by Muriel Hemingway in the movie Manhattan

More from The Stir: Woody Allen Tribute Was in Really Bad Taste

As a film fan, I'm conflicted. I adore Woody Allen's films. I'll admit, I have willfully tuned out the sexual abuse narrative, hoping it's not true. But what if it is true? How does that change how I see those movies? Can I appreciate the work of the artist and separate that from what could be monstrous behavior in his personal life?

These are questions we have had to ask ourselves about artists for ages. Artist can be astonishingly narcissistic, selfish, sociopathic, destructive. And then they create work that's undeniable. We are left wondering -- can you love the work but hate the artist's life? Can the two be separated?

Have the allegations of sexual abuse affected the way you see Woody Allen's films?


Image via Pacific Coast News


movies, child abuse


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Shannon Elysabeth Mundorff

I'm not surprised. 1) Celebrities get to do things normal people would go to prison for, and the celebs are either ignored, applauded for it, or get slaps on the wrist. 2) This country as a whole is NOT tough on child abuse, sexual exploitation, or molestation. 3) This country treats women as second class citizens worth only the use of their vaginas.

nonmember avatar Suzanne

Yep. Woody Allen is disgusting.

kaffe... kaffedrikke

Doesn't surprise me Ive always found him creepy and pervy.

the3Rs the3Rs

So...he MARRIED Mia Farrow's other adopted daughter...so yeah.  I believe it's definitely possible.  I can't stand the man or his movies either way.

miche... micheledo

It's disgusting and made more so when Hollywood celebrities speak out against sexual abuse and then flock to honor this man.  

nonmember avatar Vicky

never liked his movies and yes i believe her. after all, he married his adoptive daughter. does hollywood or anyone for that matter not find that creey?

nonmember avatar Kara H.

The3Rs: i agree with you. Hes a sick man and whats up with all the pedophiles coming out of the woodwork lately? It scares me and makes me an even more paranoid mom!

( get rid of the pedophiles)


I never knew about this! I'll never watch another film of his. Sad that no one believed her because of who her abuser was. Why would a 7 year old girl make up those accusations? Hollywood is so messed up. Well they still honor Roman Polanski so there ya go.

nonmember avatar Observer

It's about business and entertainment. What he does on his spare time is his own. No one cares, there is no profit in personal life. Everyone observed but in the end, Profit making will always have the upper hand in this society.

handy... handy0318

I would be one who would probably like Allen's movies. At least I did before it came out about his relationship with Soon Ye... then nope. Not any longer. Won't watch a Polanski movie either.

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