A bomb was detonated this weekend when the adoptive daughter of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, Dylan, wrote an open letter claiming Allen sexually molested her when she was 7 years old. Now the accused is responding: Woody Allen denies molesting Dylan Farrow. So who is telling the truth? Dig through this family's history and the story gets disturbingly murky. But here's what a representative is saying on Allen's behalf so far.
Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful. He will be responding very soon. In the meantime, it is essential that your coverage make the following facts clear:
At the time, a thorough investigation was conducted by court appointed independent experts. The experts concluded there was no credible evidence of molestation; that Dylan Farrow had an inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality; and that Dylan Farrow had likely been coached by her mother Mia Farrow. No charges were ever filed.
Keep in mind, just because an investigation concluded there was not credible evidence of molestation doesn't mean it didn't happen. I think we've all seen over the years how hard sexual abuse of children can be to prove. And we know that it can take years for a victim to come forward -- and that it takes incredible courage to do so. Would a young, impressionable person be willing to lie about that at the request of her beloved mother?
I suspect the truth is some murky combination of everyone's story. Memories can be tricky, and it wouldn't surprise me if Woody and cultivated an alternate version of what he did that allowed him to live with himself. The details Dylan includes in her letter do change how we all see this story.
The claims of child molestation arose around the same time as Farrow discovered nude photos Allen had taken of Soon-Yi Previn, then 20 years old and the adopted daughter of Mia and Andre Previn. Allen and Mia Farrow split in 1992 (they were never married), and there was a custody battle over their two adopted children Dylan and Moses, and one biological child Satchel (now Rowan Farrow).
The truth is, Dylan's case is not as cut and dried as Woody puts it. Investigators from Yale-New Haven Hospital concluded that Dylan was not molested. But a judge ruled that the evidence was inconclusive. Former Connecticut State's Attorney Frank Maco said he thought there was "probable cause" to arrest Allen but, with Mia Farrow's approval, did not press charges because they didn't wan to expose Dylan to "possible harm."
After the scandal broke, Allen was spotted attending a Knicks game with the two daughters he adopted with Soon-Yi.
I was talking with a friend about this whole toxic family dysfunction yesterday. I mentioned the creepy relationship Woody Allen's character has with a young teenager, played by Muriel Hemingway, in the movie Manhattan. Can you really separate the artist's sordid life from their work? "An artist's life always makes its way into their work," my friend reminded me. That boundary is not always as solid as we'd like to believe.
What do you think Woody truly remembers from Dylan's childhood -- could he be repressing memories?
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