Dylan Farrow, adopted daughter of Woody Allen, accuses him of sexual abuse

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Woody Allen poses during a photocall for the French Premiere screening of “Blue Jasmine”, his latest movie, on August 27, 2013 in Paris. (AFP/Getty Images)

(CNN) — The adopted daughter of Woody Allen, in an open letter posted Saturday on a New York Times blog, recounted her allegation that she was sexually assaulted by the film director.

Billed as the first time Dylan Farrow has publicly written about her allegation that she was assaulted in 1992 at age 7, the letter was released the same day as the Writers Guild Awards — where Allen has been nominated for best screenplay for “Blue Jasmine.”

“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,” said the letter posted on Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s blog.

“He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me.”

The letter was published as Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” has garnered critical acclaim, including three Academy Award nominations, best original screenplay.

Allen’s representatives did not respond Saturday to a CNN request for comment.

In 1992, in the wake of an affair between Allen and Soon-Yi Previn — Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter with composer Andre Previn — Farrow accused the filmmaker of molesting Dylan. About a week later, Allen filed for custody of his three children with Farrow — Moses and Dylan, who were adopted, and Satchel, their biological son, who now goes by Ronan Farrow.

Actress Mia Farrow (R) is escorted past photograph

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 30: Actress Mia Farrow (R) is escorted past photographers 26 March 1993 by her attorney Eleanor Alter (C) as she heads into court for another day of testimony in her custody hearing. Farrow has claimed that her daughter Dylan told her that Woody Allen “touched her in certain places.” (Photo credit should read MARK PHILLIPS/AFP/Getty Images)

“A team of investigators from Yale-New Haven Hospital that was retained by the Connecticut State Police subsequently concluded Dylan had not been abused,” according to an account in the Times, which covered the custody proceedings.

Acting Justice Elliott Wilk of State Supreme Court “said it was unlikely that Mr. Allen could be prosecuted for sexual abuse based on the evidence,” the newspaper reported. “But while a team of experts concluded that Dylan was not abused, the judge said he found the evidence inconclusive.”

But the scandal permanently damaged Allen’s image — that of a neurotic but amusing schlub with a talent for slapstick and witty one-liners. He denied the Dylan accusations and said his relationship with Farrow, which had been painted storybook colors by the press, was not actually all that strong.

He did marry Soon-Yi Previn in 1997, and after the marriage came a slightly more public Woody Allen. The couple were the focus of a 1997 Barbara Kopple documentary, “Wild Man Blues,” which portrayed a generally happy pair. Allen was also the subject of a 2011 Robert Weide film, “Woody Allen: A Documentary,” which briskly addressed Farrow’s allegations from Allen’s point of view.

Woody Allen Fights Former Girlfriend Mia Farrow In Custody Battle

Director Woody Allen leaves the Manhattan Supreme Courthouse March 22, 1993 in New York City. Allen’s ex-girlfriend Mia Farrow is filing for custody of their natural son Satchel and their adopted daughter Dylan after discovering Allen’s relationship with her adopted daughter Soon Yi. (Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Liaison)

However, the scandal has always been near the surface, and the open letter in The New York Times is one of number of instances in recent months where the allegation has been raised.

In a November Vanity Fair article, Allen was condemned by Mia Farrow’s children, especially Dylan.

Last month, as Allen was honored with a lifetime achievement award during the Golden Globes, Ronan Farrow, now estranged from his father, took to Twitter and referenced the allegation: “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?”

And now comes the open letter, where Dylan Farrow recounts not only the alleged abuse, but what she says happened to her in the aftermath.

“Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up,” she wrote. “I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself.”

She also admonished some of Hollywood’s most celebrated, mostly women, by name for “turning a blind eye” and for continuing to work with Allen.

CNN reached out to the stars that Dylan Farrow challenged by name in her letter — but has not yet heard back.


1 Comment

  • scallywagy

    Whilst most of us can agree that accusations of Woody Allen sexually molesting his adoptive daughter raises questions of moral and legal culpability perhaps the greater question is whether we should care that sometimes a great film maker can be just as distorted and purportedly devoid of moral acumen as the subject matter of the films he so often specializes in. Which is probably why the films are so good in the first place, cause no one knows blood and gore better than an axe murderer, metaphorically speaking….

    Which raises the ultimate question, should we as an audience veto a filmmaker because of his purported moral and legal behavior? Or at the very least decline to celebrate him with honorary awards….?

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