Dylan Farrow's New York Times Open Letter

Dylan Farrow's New York Times Open Letter

Updated Feb 05, 2014 at 12:28AM EST by Brad.

Added Feb 04, 2014 at 08:13PM EST by Brad.

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Overview

Woody Allen Child Molestation Controversy refers to a series of sexual abuse allegations made against the iconic American screenwriter-director by his former partner and fashion model Mia Farrow, who has long accused Woody Allen of sexually molesting their then-seven-year-old adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, in 1980.

Background

On January 12th, 2014, shortly after American film director Woody Allen was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes ceremony, Ronan Farrow, Allen’s estranged adopted son, posed a rhetorical question via Twitter reminding people of the molestation allegations made against the filmmaker in the past. Ronan’s tweet was instantly picked up by more than thousands of Twitter users tracking the Golden Globes coverage.




History

The allegations of child molestation made by Mia Farrow against Woody Allen were first brought to light by Vanity Fair[11] in November 1992, at the height of their scandalous fall-out and custody battle following Farrow’s discovery of Allen’s affair with her then-20-year-old adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. After a lengthy examination process in the custody battle, the Conneticut State supreme court awarded the children’s custody to Farrow. Meanwhile, an investigation by a team of court-appointed medical scientists concluded that there aren’t enough evidence to support a case and no criminal charges were ever filed against Allen.[1][2][5]

Notable Developments

Dylan Farrow’s Open Letter

On February 1st, 2014, New York Times’ On The Ground blog[4] ran an open letter from Dylan Farrow, the adopted daughter of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, which, for the first time, detailed a personal account of what had happened between her and Allen on an afternoon in August 1992, from the alleged victim herself.

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. 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.


In concluding the letter, Farrow urges several celebrity actors and actresses who have worked on Allen’s films to reconsider their impressions of the 78-year-old director.

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?

Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormenter.

Are you imagining that? Now, what’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?


Woody Allen’s Statement

The next day, Woody Allen’s spokeswoman released a press statement addressing Farrow’s open letter.

“Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful,” Allen’s spokeswoman, Leslee Dart, said in an email Sunday. “He will be responding very soon.”

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