As most of you are undoubtedly aware by now, director Woody Allen is once again facing serious public scrutiny regarding accusations of sexual assault made 22 years ago by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow. To summarize: the media firestorm began (or, perhaps more accurately, reawakened) when, after the Golden Globes bestowed the Cecil B. Demille lifetime achievement award upon Allen on Jan. 12, Ronan Farrow (Allen and Mia Farrow’s alleged biological son) reopened the Dylan Farrow accusations via Twitter.
Understandably, the tweet renewed interest in a story that has been playing itself out for over two decades. However, there is a new noteworthy participant now—namely an entire generation of fans who were not exposed to the details of Allen’s relationship with Mia Farrow’s other adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn (now Allen’s wife).
Allen then went through a subsequent custody battle with Mia Farrow over their three children and the 1992 accusations of sexual abuse made by Dylan Farrow, then seven years old. The story’s reemergence stirred critical responses from all sides, including a particularly defensive stance from Robert B. Weide of The Daily Beast.
Then this past weekend, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof (who is a friend of Mia Farrow) published Dylan Farrow’s own letter that serves as her testament to her experiences. “What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?” the letter begins, “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.”
Yesterday Allen’s camp finally responded to the renewed allegations in a statement directed at the claims made by Dylan Farrow in her New York Times letter. “Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful,” Allen representative Leslee Dart said in the statement, “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.” When exactly Allen will issue his own penned response is currently unclear.